Horsham starlet signs first professional contract with Sussex

Tom Clark signs his first professional deal at Sussex. Picture courtesy of Sussex Cricket
Tom Clark signs his first professional deal at Sussex. Picture courtesy of Sussex Cricket

Horsham's Tom Clark has signed his first professional contract with Sussex County Cricket Club.

The 18-year-old becomes the tenth pathway graduate in the current men’s squad.

After playing for England Under-19s earlier in the summer, the left-handed batsman made his first-class debut in Sussex’s Specsavers County Championship match against Worcestershire in September.

The former pupil of Ardingly College has also been selected for England Under-19s’ tour of the Caribbean this winter.

Reacting to his deal, Tom said: “It’s a dream come true to sign my first professional contract for Sussex, the club I have played for since the age of eight. Being a professional cricketer has been my ambition since a very young age and to fulfil that is a great honour.

“I’m very grateful for the opportunity presented to me and am excited to continue to work hard to fulfil my goals and help Sussex succeed in the future.

“Richard Halsall, amongst other coaches in the pathway programme have prepared me very well for the step up into the professional game and I’m very thankful for all the support they’ve offered me throughout my time here.

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“It was a great moment making my first-class debut at the end of the season and has given me a good taste of what’s to come. I’m looking forward to what the future holds for me.

“I can’t wait to get started and begin working with a great group of players and coaches.”

Sussex County Cricket Club men’s head coach, Jason Gillespie added: “We’re very pleased to add Tom to our squad. He got an opportunity last season in the first team and certainly shows plenty of promise.

“Tom also has an excellent attitude and is keen to learn. The coaching staff are looking forward to working with him and helping him take the next steps in his career.”

Clark averaged 33.57 in eight innings, with a top score of 91, for Horsham as the Lions were relegated for the first time from the 1st Central Sussex Cricket League Premier Division.