Porterfield commits to champions
Ireland captain Will Porterfield has signed a contract extension with Warwickshire, whose new director of cricket Dougie Brown hopes Rikki Clarke will soon do likewise.
Porterfield has penned a two-year deal with the LV= County Champions that lasts until the end of the 2015 campaign.
The 28-year-old top-order batsman played in all but two of Warwickshire’s championship games last season, although he managed a disappointing 482 runs at an average of just 24.10.
Porterfield, who made only three Friends Life t20 appearances, fared much better in the Clydesdale Bank 40, helping the Bears to the final with 395 runs at 39.5 including 100 not out versus the Unicorns at Wormsley and 67 of a 126-run opening alliance with Varun Chopra in the semi-final against Lancashire.
Brown said: "Because of a reduced international calendar this is the first winter where we've seen a lot of William here at Edgbaston, and his attitude and commitment towards pre-season training has made a great impact on other members of the squad.
“He's made great strides in the last few months and we had no hesitation in offering him a chance to commit himself to Warwickshire for the foreseeable future.
"His opening stand with Varun Chopra in the CB40 semi-final at Old Trafford demonstrated his maturity and ability to perform on the biggest stage. His challenge is to do this consistently across all formats of the game and prove himself to be one of the leading batsmen in the domestic game."
Porterfield, who has featured in two World Cups and three World Twenty20s, became Ireland skipper in 2008 and has scored five one-day international centuries.
He was the first Ireland player to make 1,000 runs in a domestic campaign, during his debut season at Gloucestershire, and boasts a best first-class score of 175 for Gloucestershire versus Worcestershire in 2010.
The Londonderry-born left-hander, who has made 72 appearances in all competitions for Warwickshire since joining in October 2010, said: "I've had two fantastic seasons already with Warwickshire and with such a strong squad and a great chance to win more silverware, it was an easy decision to extend my stay here at Edgbaston.
"The majority of the squad has been playing together for a few seasons and we're all really looking forward to competing for more honours in the new season."
Clarke, currently on England Lions’ tour of Australia, has been an increasingly prolific all-rounder since signing Warwickshire from Derbyshire in September 2008. In last year’s championship the 31-year-old contributed 760 runs at an average of 44.7 and 20 wickets at 27.7.
“Rikki is also a crucial member of the squad and we would be delighted if he signed an extension,” added Brown, who was named director of cricket less than a fortnight ago.
“While he is in Australia with the England Lions, he will be concentrating on that. But it (a new contract) is something we will be looking to get on to straight after he gets back.”