Dillon Pennington: Worcestershire fast bowler signs new deal until 2023

As well as taking 29 County Championship wickets for Worcestershire and 23 more in white-ball cricket, Dillon Pennington also made it to The Hundred final with Birmingham Phoenix
As well as taking 29 County Championship wickets for Worcestershire and 23 more in white-ball cricket, Dillon Pennington also made it to The Hundred final with Birmingham Phoenix

Worcestershire fast bowler Dillon Pennington has signed a new contract.

Pennington, 22, who had 12 months remaining of his existing deal, is now tied to New Road until 2023.

He follows the lead of fellow Pears pacemen Adam Finch and Charlie Morris, who signed new deals this week.

The former England Under-19s international was also part of the Birmingham Phoenix side that reached the first final of the men's Hundred at Lord's, playing their last three games.

Pennington has taken 70 wickets in 25 first-class matches, and 36 at an economy rate of 9.00 in the T20 Blast since making his first-team breakthrough in 2018.

Worcestershire, who finished fifth out of six in Group One over the first part of the 2021 Championship season, came third in Division Three after the mid-summer split.

They just missed out on a quarter-final place in the T20 Blast, finishing fifth out of nine in their group, and also came fifth in their nine-team One-Day Cup group.

The Pears will be in Division Two in 2022, when the Championship reverts to a two-tier structure.

"I can't wait for the season to start," said Pennington. "Hopefully, as a side, we keep growing and getting better. We've got a strong team that can do it in all formats. In the Blast we were really competitive for most of the tournament down to the very last group game.

"I said at the start of the year that I want to try and get myself a consistent spot in the first team squad, and that's still my aim.

"I've still got to try and embed myself in the bowling unit. This year was a starting stone for me to playing a lot of cricket, and hopefully, in the next couple of years, I can keep getting better and keep evolving my game and hopefully try and cement myself [a spot].

"There is really good competition, and it only makes you get better because you've got to work that bit harder in training, have to do that bit more."

Pennington destroyed Derbyshire with his performance at New Road and wants more of the same in 2022.

"It was quite special," he said. "I was desperate to get my first five-wicket haul, and it was really good to get it then.

"I would have liked to follow it up with another, but hopefully there are more to come in the next couple of years.

"It is something to keep building on and replicate next summer."

His performances in the Vitality Blast included a deadly opening burst of 4-0 against Yorkshire at Headingley.

Pennington said: "I've just got to learn the bits and pieces about T20 I don't know at the moment.

"I can't just be a powerplay bowler. I want to try and improve my middle and death overs, and that is something I will be working on over the winter.

"Hopefully, I will have a couple more skills next summer which will improve my white ball more and hopefully help the team out more."

Head coach Alex Gidman said: "We all feel that Dillon is an exciting prospect, but he is still very early in his career.

"He has had some good experiences, and he has had some tough ones, but we see that potential in him and are very excited about watching him develop.

"We will be working very hard with Dillon to try and get as much experience into him as quickly as possible to improve the consistency of his performances."

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