Alex Thomson: Warwickshire sign Staffordshire all-rounder on one-year contract

Alex Thomson made 100 runs in the match for Staffordshire against Cumberland at Longton in June. The visitors' wicketkeeper was Gary Knight
Alex Thomson has made 20 appearances for Staffordshire, 13 in the Minor Counties Championship and seven in the one-day Knockout Trophy

Warwickshire have signed Staffordshire all-rounder Alex Thomson on a one-year contract following a trial.

The 24-year-old off-spinner made his first-class debut in 2014 while a student at Cardiff University.

He has since been a Bears second XI regular over the last three seasons.

Thomson played in Warwickshire's final two County Championship games of last season, following confirmation of the Bears' relegation to Division Two, scoring 70 runs in four innings.

He comes from the same North Staffordshire and South Cheshire League side as one of his Bears team-mates, reserve wicketkeeper Alex Mellor.

"Alex came to our attention through our close partnership with Staffordshire, which has recently brought both Alex Mellor and Liam Banks into the senior squad," said Bears sport director Ashley Giles.

"He boasts captaincy experience with both Cardiff MCCU and his club team and has fitted very well into the dressing room. As an off-spinner and middle-order batsman, he gives us new options."

Bears' necessities for 2018

Warwickshire's slow bowling department will now have four main choices next season, led by senior professional Jeetan Patel, the 37-year-old New Zealand Test off-spinner, who is in the final year of his Bears contract, having now retired from international cricket.

They also have Thomson, slow left-armer Sunny Singh and leg-spinner Josh Poysden, as well as part-time 'leggie' Dom Sibley.

Warwickshire's senior spinner Jeetan Patel has taken 353 wickets at an average of 26.50 in his 96 first-class matches for the Bears
Warwickshire's senior spinner Jeetan Patel has taken 353 wickets at an average of 26.50 in his 96 first-class matches for the Bears

Confirmation of Thomson's place on the playing staff at Edgbaston follows the contracts handed out at the end of last season to fast bowlers Ryan Sidebottom and George Panayi and batsman Liam Banks.

In a Bears squad already going through a significant 'evolution', they have other promising youngsters in batsman Matt Lamb, fast bowler Grant Thornton and two players who have shone in the Bears' T20 team, opener Ed Pollock and all-rounder Aaron Thomason.

They also have Yorkshire all-rounder Will Rhodes to bed in alongside their two 2017 mid-season signings Sibley, Somerset batsman Adam Hose, as well as a fully-fit Olly Stone.

The club also intend to make an announcement before Christmas about who will captain the County Championship side in 2018.

Following Ian Bell's removal from the captaincy in August, Jonathan Trott became Championship skipper, while New Zealander Grant Elliott took over the Birmingham Bears captaincy - and is expected to do that job again in 2018.

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