UNNECESSARY though it may seem – given the mesmerising start he has enjoyed to the 2017 season – Ben Coad says his new extended contract with Yorkshire has handed him a further confidence boost.
The 23-year-old pace bowler had only played one County Championship match prior to this campaign but, thrown in at the deep end due to injuries that have ravaged the Yorkshire bowling attack, he has taken the four-day game by storm.
After picking up eight wickets in the opening game defeat at home to Hampshire – including his first five-wicket haul – Coad’s stock rose even further last week when he spearheaded the White Rose attack to victory over Warwickshire at Edgbaston with his maiden 10-wicket match haul. Whether it was already in the pipeline or as a direct result of his stunning start to the season, Yorkshire have decided to extend Coad’s current deal until the end of next year.
Boasting 18 wickets in two games at an average of just 11.77 each, Coad will once again be relied upon when Yorkshire head to Hampshire for a swift rematch this Friday, with Ryan Sidebottom, Jack Brooks and Liam Plunkett all still ruled out through injury.
And while his confidence may rightly already be sky high, Coad admits the faith Yorkshire have placed in him by offering the extended deal, has only fuelled his self-belief further.
“It gives me that freedom to go out there and play knowing that I’ll be here for another year after this,” said Coad. “It takes a little bit of pressure off my shoulders.
“If it’s possible to gain any more confidence at the moment, there is a little more as a result of this. It’s a little bit surreal but it’s been a great start for me. I just hope that momentum keeps going with me. I feel like I can’t put a foot wrong at the moment.”
Yorkshire’s director of cricket, Martyn Moxon added: “Everyone at the club is delighted for Ben, he’s a great team man. He deserves his success and has worked extremely hard during his career and especially over the winter on skills.”
“If it’s possible to gain any more confidence at the moment, there is a little more as a result of this.Yorkshire’s Ben Coad