First central England contract for bowler Jake Ball

Jake Ball, Mansfield's England cricketer. (PHOTO BY: Mark Fear).
Jake Ball, Mansfield's England cricketer. (PHOTO BY: Mark Fear).

Mansfield’s England cricketer Jake Ball has been handed a central contract by the ECB for 2017/18.

The 26-year-old Nottinghamshire seamer, who grew up learning his trade at the family club, Welbeck, has secured a white-ball contract for the first time, having previously received an incremental deal.

Since making his debut for England last year, Ball has made a good impression in both Test and one-day cricket. So far, he has played in three Tests and 16 one-day internationals. He has also been picked for the Ashes squad in Australia this winter for could be the most exciting time of his career

Nottinghamshire teammate Alex Hales joins Ball in the list of Twenty20/one-day international contract recipients. Hales’s knock of 110 from 107 balls against the West Indies in Barbados in March was among his most eyecatching international performances in the last 12 months.

A third Notts player, England Test regular Stuart Broad, retains his Test match central contract after playing a key part in England’s series victories over South Africa and the West Indies this summer.

All three players were also key to Notts’s success this summer in between their international commitments, helping the club win the Royal London One-Day Cup, the NatWest T20 Blast and promotion to Division One of the Specsavers County Championship.

Director England Cricket, Andrew Struass, said: “I would like to congratulate all of those who have received England contracts for 2017/18, ahead of a busy year of international cricket,”

The England Test team for the five-match Ashes series leaves on October 28, while the one-day international series against Australia starts on January 14 and will be followed by a triangular T20 tournament with Australia and New Zealand from February 3.