Leicestershire CCC's plans in full swing as quintet sign new deals
Leicestershire have agreed new contracts with five players as they set about building their squad for the 2013 season and beyond.
Batsman Michael Thornely, slow left-arm bowler James Sykes and all-rounder Rob Taylor have all agreed new two-year contracts at Grace Road, having already made their mark on the first team during 2012.
Another batsman, Angus Robson, and pace bowler Ollie Freckingham have signed deals for next season.
Thornely has hit two centuries for County in first-class cricket having been called into the first team in mid-season following some impressive second-team showings.
He also showed he can be a force in one-day cricket, blasting 86 from 77 balls to help the Foxes beat the Netherlands, in Amsterdam, in the CB40 last month.
Taylor and Sykes have largely made their impact on the one-day front, although there is no question that both have the quality to continue their progress on the Championship front.
Taylor, who bowls left-arm seam and is also a hard-hitting batsman, went into the third day of the current Championship match against Kent with championship-best figures of 4-77.
The former Loughborough University student figured prominently with bat and ball in the FLT20 campaign, and was also largely responsible for the dramatic last-ball win against Worcestershire in the CB40 game at Grace Road, smashing 22 not out from just 10 balls.
In addition, Taylor has taken on captaincy duties with the second team in recent weeks, leading the side to four wins in as many matches.
Sykes showed promise in the fixtures against both touring sides this season, West Indies and Australia, and took 2-24 on his t20 debut at Nottinghamshire Outlaws.
He also finished with figures of 3-39 in the win against the Netherlands.
Robson, 20, is the brother of Middlesex opener Sam and bats in the middle order. He has scored two centuries for the second team, against Gloucestershire and Notts, in helping the County twos to their championship final next week.
Freckingham is well known on the county club scene as a spearhead of the Loughborough Town attack in the Everards Premier League.
The 23-year-old will add depth to County's seam attack.
"Michael has settled in well at Grace Road and has already made an excellent contribution to the team," said County chief executive Mike Siddall.
"We are delighted that Rob, James, Angus and Ollie have all signed contracts with the club.
"They are all exciting young cricketers and we look forward to watching them develop at Grace Road."
Leicestershire's second team look to complete an excellent season when they host Kent in their championship final next week.
County went through the season unbeaten, and their three wins and six draws saw them finish comfortably top of the northern section.
Kent topped the southern division and will provide tough opposition for the young County side.
Although the regular second-team championship season is made up of three-day games, the final is staged over four days.
It starts at Grace Road on Tuesday (10.30am).