Northamptonshire deal for Freddie Heldreich after impressive breakthrough campaign
Freddie Heldreich’s breakthrough campaign with Northamptonshire County Cricket Club has been rewarded with a rookie contract.
The 20-year-old, who was raised in Debenham and Badingham, caught the eye during his eight outings across this year’s T20 Blast and Royal London Cup.
A left-arm wrist-spinner who has previously bowled at the England and Australian Test teams in the nets, Heldreich took eight wickets in Northants colours.
And the coaches at the County Ground have been suitably impressed, handing the former Framlingham College student with a two-year deal.
“It’s been a real roller-coaster of a year with ups and downs, but it’s amazing to have ended it with a contract,” said Heldreich.
“It was always in the back of my mind when I was playing well that it might happen, but at the same time you never know.
“Teams change their budgets, they sign new players so you can never get complacent.
“I was really buzzed to have got two years as well. If it was one year then there would be a lot of pressure to get out there and smash it straight away next season, but this gives me the chance to improve and develop at a decent pace.
“The two years shows they have a lot of faith in my potential.”
Having broken through in the shorter formats of the game, Heldreich is hoping to develop his red-ball skills over the coming months.
He added: “T20s have been my priority. It’s my favourite format and the one where I feel I can do the most damage.
“But I’d love to play some red-ball cricket as well, make my first-class debut eventually and get a county cap.
“It’s all about working on my consistency. I want to become a better fielder and a better batsman – and that will help my red-ball game as well.”
Unlike last winter when he travelled to Australia, Heldreich will remain in England this year.
He is currently studying at university in Loughborough, where the ECB has its state-of-the-art performance centre.
“I’ll be training here during the winter,” he said. “Because this is my first year with a contract I wanted to be close to Northants so I could work with the coaches.
“The facilities at Loughborough are unbelievable and I’ll be able to use them regularly. It’s some of the best facilities around and that will help to set me up for next season.”