Sussex bowler signs long-term contract
Sussex Cricket have announced that Jamie Atkins has signed a new contract that keeps him at the club until at least the end of the 2024 season.
Playing under a rookie contract in 2021, the right-arm fast bowler impressed in his first summer as a professional. The 19-year-old took 20 wickets in five Championship matches and picked up five-wicket hauls against Yorkshire and Kent.
The former Matthew Hobden Trust Scholar at Eastbourne College is one of 14 current Sussex professionals to have come through the club’s youth pathway. Atkins was part of the set-up from the age of ten.
He said: "I am absolutely delighted to have signed a new contract with my boyhood club and the club I love.
"I want to say thank you to the club for having faith in me and trusting me to improve and better myself. I will do everything I can alongside everyone else at the club to get Sussex back to winning ways.
"Things didn’t go the way we wanted to last season and we were disappointed with some of our results, but I truly believe next season we will be back stronger and more determined than ever. We all want to be involved in helping Sussex win games of cricket.
"I want to say thank you to Ian Salisbury and James Kirtley for the opportunities and support up to this point. They have provided me with great experiences in first class cricket and also opened my eyes to life as a professional.
"I know my work-ons for this winter and want to be on the field as much as possible next season. I am looking forward to getting stuck in next summer as I truly believe this is an exciting time for Sussex Cricket.”
Sussex’s Championship and One-Day head coach, Ian Salisbury said: "Jamie is one of a number of our young players to show huge promise and potential at the start of their careers as professional cricketers and this contract extension recognises that.
"We want to keep this group of homegrown talent together for the years to come, we want to support them in their development on and off the pitch and help them achieve their dreams while wearing a Sussex shirt.
"Jamie burst onto the scene last season, he’s a fantastic, larger-than-life character and I think all our supporters can be very excited about watching him at Hove in the years to come. I certainly am."
Sussex’s T20 head coach, James Kirtley, added: "It's great news for Sussex and Jamie that he has signed a long-term contract. Jamie made an incredible impact in his first season; two five-wicket hauls is an amazing start. He showed pace, how awkward he is to face but, above all, a big heart.
"It will be very important for us to manage him over the next few years so that we get the very best out of Jamie. Not only is this important for Jamie and Sussex but also to realise his dream of playing at the highest level.
"Managing his workload and his expectations will be vital so that we have a match winning bowler at Sussex for the coming years.
"He is a pleasure to work with and I can't wait to see his development and continued devastating spells."