Worcestershire are delighted to announce that Australian batsman Callum Ferguson, who has hit three List A hundreds for the Rapids already this season, is heading back to Blackfinch New Road as the County’s main overseas player for the 2019 campaign.
Head Coach Kevin Sharp confirmed that Ferguson will link up with Worcestershire on May 1 and he is expected to be available for the majority of the season.
Ferguson has been playing purely white ball cricket during this spell but in 2019 will be available to feature in all formats of the game.
The right-hander has made a massive impact right from day one when hitting 192 on his debut in the Royal London One-Day Cup clash with visiting Leicestershire Foxes after an earlier than expected call-up to replace Travis Head.
It was the highest List A score by a Worcestershire batsman, beating Tom Moody’s 180 against Surrey at The Oval in the 1994 NatWest Trophy semi-final.
He followed that up with 159 not out against Northamptonshire Steelbacks in the same competition at Blackfinch New Road.
Ferguson has scored consistently in the Vitality Blast and on Saturday night showed great maturity and composure on a difficult pitch in making 106 not out in the win over Notts Outlaws at Trent Bridge.
But he also has a good record in first class cricket and will be looking to make an impact in the Specsavers County Championship as well as white ball cricket next summer.
Sharp is delighted to have acquired the services of Ferguson for such a significant part of next season.
He said: “We didn’t know too much about Callum. He came to play some white ball cricket for us and he has excelled.
“It’s not just his skill as a batsman, it is the way he is as a person. He is a caring, smart individual who understands the game and he understands people.
“He has fitted in superbly here so it was a no-brainer really to have him come back here for a longer period next season.
“Callum was keen to come back and the very fact he is going to be with us for most of the season gives us that stabilising factor as well.
“He has played a lot of cricket and his stats are good – this is going to be to our benefit.
“He has a good record in all formats of the game, he has loved it here, and he has a great relationship with everyone at the club.”
Sharp added: “The 192 against Leicestershire was up there with the best innings you will see and the other night at Trent Bridge, in different circumstances, he played with great maturity and skill – as did Mo (Moeen Ali).
Worcestershire CEO Matt Rawnsley said: “We are delighted that Callum will be coming back next summer and playing all facets of the game.
“I think he has added a huge amount of value on and off the field this year, clearly a quality player but also the experience that he brings to the group and in the dressing room is something we’ve really valued.
“His performances have been excellent and us committing to him for next year demonstrates what we think of him.
“In this changing landscape of when players are available, particularly for next year with the World Cup as well in the UK, for us to have an overseas player of true quality for the majority of the season – five months – is going to be a great asset for us.”
Ferguson is delighted to be returning to Blackfinch New Road for another season and it will be on the back of his marriage to police officer Rhiannon Eglinton in April.
He said: “It has been a great experience this year. I’ve probably ended up playing a little bit more for Worcestershire this year than I expected when initially coming over.
“That has been really exciting, we’re in a good position, winning lots of games of cricket, and I’m really looking forward to getting the band back together next year, as you might put it!
“I’ll be coming back and playing with such an exciting, young and talented group of players. I’m really grateful for the opportunity.
“It will be great to play the red ball stuff as well and have virtually a full season over here, a real experience that I’ve wanted to get a hold of. To be offered it by Worcestershire next year is something I’m very excited about.”
*Read a full interview with Callum Ferguson and his experiences this season and hopes for the future on the Worcestershire CCC website and social media during the next few days.