Lancashire County Cricket Club’s George Balderson and George Lavelle have signed their first professional contracts with the Club.
The pair, who have graduated through the Lancashire Academy at Emirates Old Trafford under the guidance of Gary Yates, have signed two-year young professional contracts.
Both players have featured for Lancashire Second XI this season with the side winning the T20 competition after beating Gloucestershire in the semi-final and Essex in the final.
Lavelle, a wicket keeper batsman who plays for Ormskirk Cricket Club, travelled to Dubai with the Lancashire First Team on this year’s pre-season tour and enjoyed a productive summer with the Academy and Second XI. His good form earned him a call-up to the England U19s where he made his debut in the Test Match against South Africa at Scarborough in July.
The 18-year-old is spending the winter in Australia playing Grade Cricket for North Sydney Cricket Club before returning to Lancashire in February to prepare for the 2019 season.
Lavelle said: “I couldn’t be happier to sign my first professional contract with the county that I have grown up representing. I’ve really enjoyed my time in the Academy and this is the next step in my development.
“My aim is to continue performing regularly for the Second XI and push my case for selection for the First Team over the next two years.”
All-rounder Balderson made four appearances for the Red Rose in the Second XI Championship this season and featured in both games at T20 Finals Day. He has since been named in the England Young Lions squad for winter training camps in the UK and India next month.
The 18 year-old also captained the North in the ECB Super 4s this summer, a competition for the most talented young players in the country.
Balderson, who plays for Hyde Cricket Club, commented: “It’s a dream come true to sign my first professional contract with Lancashire.
“This is just the start of my journey now. I’m looking forward to the winter ahead with the Young Lions before returning to Emirates Old Trafford and joining up with the Lancashire squad early next year.
“My aim in 2019 is to consistently perform for the Second XI and push my case for First Team selection.”
Lancashire’s Performance Director and Assistant Coach, Mark Chilton, added: “Both players are exciting talents and have impressed the coaching staff with their attitude and performances for the Second XI this summer.
“George Lavelle is out in Sydney at the moment playing Grade Cricket, whilst George Balderson has been named in the England Young Lions squad that tours India in December so we’re looking forward to tracking their progress and seeing how they develop over the winter.”