Westley signs Essex deal
Essex batsman Tom Westley has signed a two-year contract with the county, taking him up to the end of the 2009 season.
The 18-year-old has been involved with the senior squad as an Academy professional over the last two seasons.
His first-team debut came in the one-day tourist match with Sri Lanka in June 2006 before he made his first-class bow for Essex against Cambridge UCCE in May.
Westley went on to appear in four LV County Championship games in 2007 – with a highest score of 72 against Somerset at The Ford County Ground in September – and two NatWest Pro40 games.
He also featured in one Under-19 Test and five Under-19 ODIs this summer, where he also served notice of his off-spinning ability with match-figures of 7-131 in the first Test against Pakistan at Scarborough.
Westley said: “With the Academy pro contracts I’ve had over the last couple of years, I was obviously hoping to get a full-time one, so after a pretty decent year I’m privileged to get a two-year contract.
“It helped massively to go on the pre-season tour of Dubai because it was the first time I’d got to be around the players for a long time and also made me start to think that if things went well I might get to play the odd first-team game.
"As the season went on I finished in the first-team, which has been an honour.”
Essex chief executive David East added: “Tom is another shining example of how well our Academy system is working. His progress over the last couple of seasons has been excellent, and we are all very hopeful that we have another star in the making.”