Ryan Sidebottom has secured his future at Warwickshire after signing another contract extension.
The Tallygaroopna product put pen to paper last week to add a further season to his stint at the English County Cricket side, meaning he will be at the Bears until at least the end of next year.
Sidebottom burst onto the scene for the Bears in the County Championship last year, taking 23 wickets at an average of 22.47 across seven appearances after working his way into the squad through a second team trial.
The right-arm seamer impressed enough to snare himself a contract extension at Warwickshire for this season, with sport director Ashley Giles singing his praises at the time.
‘‘Ryan has been an excellent addition to the squad and we’ve been pleased with his performance in the championship games that he’s played to date,’’ Giles said in September.
‘‘He’s worked incredibly hard to reach the professional ranks at this stage of his career and we look forward to seeing him challenge for a place in other formats of the game next season.’’
Sidebottom then returned to Cricket Shepparton’s ranks, taking 15-80 across 37 overs in eight matches for Northerners, before heading back overseas to continue his stint at the Bears.
When Sidebottom’s most recent contract extension was announced — alongside Bears captain Jeetan Patel, all-rounder Alex Thomson and fast bowler Oliver Hannon-Dalby — Giles reiterated the club’s support of the Goulburn Valley export.
‘‘All three of Olly, Ryan and Alex are excellent characters and have had to work exceptionally hard to get where they are in the county game,’’ Giles said.
‘‘Ryan and Alex have come through very different routes into the professional game, but they performed admirably in difficult circumstances for the team when they made their debuts in the championship last year.
‘‘We’ve been very impressed with their work over the winter months and the challenge for them is to now prove that they can play a prominent role for the team across all formats.’’
Warwickshire has dropped to the second division of the county system this season, but Patel is confident the Bears can bounce back into the top tier — with Sidebottom’s ability to extract pronounced swing and seam in English conditions sure to be crucial to the side’s chances.
‘‘This season offers us some real opportunities. Last year was a disappointing one for us and after a year like that you could all be down in the dumps but I don’t see it that way,’’ Patel said.
‘‘Every club has a year like that sometimes. The way I look at it is that we now have a chance to build something for the future that Warwickshire County Cricket Club and its fans will be proud of and renowned for.’’
The Bears began their new campaign against Sussex at the weekend, with Sidebottom missing a spot in the final XI after being included in the initial 14-man squad.
Sidebottom’s next chance to snare a starting gig will be on April 20 for Warwickshire’s round two clash against Northamptonshire.