Former Swardeston player Bud Bailey is the second young Norfolk cricketer to be celebrating this week after being offered a professional deal with a county club.
After Jaik Mickleburgh was given a two-year contract with Essex, Bailey has secured a one-year deal with Northamptonshire.
The 18-year-old, from Watton, made his first class debut for Northants earlier this season, but has since been hampered by injury.
However, Northants saw enough in Bailey’s sole first team appearance to upgrade the 6ft 7in paceman from his academy deal to a professional contract.
Bailey said: “I had a meeting with (Northants coach) David Capel and (academy director) David Ripley to talk about how the season had gone and that’s when they told me. There had already been some talk about it, but I was quite surprised and obviously happy to get my first pro contract.”
The teenager is moving to Northampton this winter to work closely with Northamptonshire’s team of physios in a bid to be fully fit for next season.
He also admitted he would love to be chosen for the England Under-19 winter tour to South Africa, having previously been involved with the national under-17 side.
Bailey then plans to stake a claim for a regular place in the Northants first team, having enjoyed his debut against Essex in April, when he picked up three wickets in the match.
He said: “It was a bit nerve wracking at the start, but once I settled down I just treated it like any other game and it was a great experience for me.”
His Northants commitments and injuries restricted Bailey to just one appearance for Norfolk this season, when he bagged a five-wicket haul in the MCCA Knockout Trophy quarter-final win against Lincolnshire.