Ed Barnard: Warwickshire sign Worcestershire's England Lions all-rounder

England Lions all-rounder Ed Barnard began his career with his native Shropshire
England Lions all-rounder Ed Barnard began his career with his native Shropshire

Warwickshire have signed all-rounder Ed Barnard from Worcestershire on a three-year contract, from the 2023 season.

Shrewsbury-born Barnard, 26, who made his debut in 2015, is the Pears' top County Championship run-scorer and wicket-taker this season.

He played a key part in earning them their last Championship promotion under then boss Steve Rhodes in 2017.

Barnard also starred in the 2018 T20 Blast triumph, Worcestershire's first knockout trophy final win in 24 years.

He is one of two Worcestershire players from that night at Edgbaston strongly linked with Warwickshire in recent weeks, as the county's T20 skipper Moeen Ali is reported to be set to returnexternal-link to Birmingham.

Like Moeen and another reported target, Lancashire's Birmingham-born England paceman Saqib Mahmood, Barnard's deal with Worcestershire expires at the end of the season.

Having turned down the offer of a new deal, his move to Edgbaston reunites him with former Pears bowling coach Matt Mason - who now has the same job with the Bears.

"This is a huge signing for the club," said Warwickshire director of cricket Paul Farbrace. "We believe Ed will bring an extra dimension to our team. He is someone we have always been impressed by. With the potential he possesses, Ed can reach the higher echelons of the game."

"My ambition is to play at the highest level," said Barnard. "I am determined to win trophies with the Bears, play franchise cricket and be selected for England.

"Edgbaston and the Eric Hollies Stand is a special place. It's an atmosphere that doesn't get matched around the country.

"I will be forever thankful to everyone involved with Worcestershire from back in my academy time to the present day. I will always cherish the friendships and special memories made on and off the pitch."

Ed Barnard's Worcestershire numbers

County Championship: 86 matches, 3,523 runs (average 33.55), 249 wickets

T20 Blast: 100 matches, 702 runs, 59 wickets

List A: 51 matches, 665 runs, 62 wickets

15 years a Pear, now a Bear

After coming through the youth ranks with Worcestershire over the last 15 years, Barnard, whose schoolteacher father Andy opened the bowling for Shropshire, has shown a gradual improvement in his seven seasons as a first-team regular, especially with the bat.

He has hit more than 1,400 runs over the past two seasons, at an average of well over 50, including five centuries.

Three of those tons have come this summer in his haul of 665 Championship runs, at an average of 66.50, and he has also taken 19 wickets.

Worcestershire cricket steering group chairman Paul Pridgeon, who first worked with Barnard as a 12-year-old at Shrewsbury School said: "As a club through our academy, we work hard to help local players get the best out of their ability and are extremely proud of our record in producing first-class cricketers.

"I have worked with Ed for a long time and seen him develop as a cricketer.

"We're very disappointed that Ed has chosen to go and play his cricket elsewhere."

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