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First-class show by Jaik

PUBLISHED: 11:24 26 September 2008 | UPDATED: 07:41 01 August 2010

BUNGAY-born cricketer Jaik Mickleburgh has been rewarded for an excellent start to his first-class career with a contract extension at Essex.

The 18-year-old batsman, who now plays club cricket for Horsford, had previously been on an academy professional deal, but that has been upgraded after he caught the eye by hitting half-centuries in each of his first two LV County Championship matches.

BUNGAY-born cricketer Jaik Mickleburgh has been rewarded for an excellent start to his first-class career with a contract extension at Essex.

The 18-year-old batsman, who now plays club cricket for Horsford, had previously been on an academy professional deal, but that has been upgraded after he caught the eye by hitting half-centuries in each of his first two LV County Championship matches.

He made his third first-class appearance in Bristol this week after being named in the Essex side for their final championship game of the season, against Gloucestershire.

Mickleburgh told the Essex website: “I believe this contract is a reward for my progress over the year, including my performances in the seconds. I then couldn't have asked for a better start to my first XI career and hopefully I can do that on a consistent basis.

“Making my debut for a team that I've been working my way towards for years was obviously the highlight of my year but that was topped off by scoring a half-century on my debut.”

The former Bungay High School pupil, who also played cricket for Topcroft and football for Bungay, is due to spend the winter in Australia at Paul Terry's Cricket Academy - although he may yet be selected for the England U19s' tour of South Africa.

He added: “I played regional cricket when I was younger but I've never received England recognition to date. Making runs in first XI cricket is bound to get you noticed more, so hopefully that will push my chances of selection.”

Mickleburgh scored 344 runs at an average of 49.14 in the Second XI Championship with Essex this year and also averaged 33 in the county's Second XI Trophy campaign as they were beaten in the final.

He made his debut in the senior team against Leicestershire in August, hitting 60 and followed that up with a brisk 72 against Warwickshire earlier this month.

In Essex's first innings against Gloucestershire this week he went for 17.

Mickleburgh comes from a sporting family - his father, Paul and two uncles, David and Graham, played football regularly for Bungay Town, amassing more than 1,000 appearances between them.

His late grandfather, Harold, was a regular in the Bungay side in their great days immediately after the war.

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