Worcestershire spinner Josh Baker dies at age of 20

Worcestershire spinner Josh Baker has died at the age of 20, the club have announced.

The Pears said they were “devastated” by the loss of the former England Under-19 player, who turned out twice in the Vitality County Championship in April.

No further details have been shared about the shock news.

A statement read: “Worcestershire County Cricket Club is heartbroken to announce the untimely passing of Josh Baker, who was aged only 20 years old.

“During this profoundly difficult time, the club is dedicated to supporting Josh’s family, friends, and colleagues. We are united in our grief and committed to honouring his memory in a manner befitting the remarkable person he was.

“It was his vibrant spirit and infectious enthusiasm that endeared him to everyone he met. His warmth, kindness, and professionalism were remarkable, making him a true credit to his family and a loved member of our team.

“Plans to pay tribute to Josh will be made in consultation with his family and will remain private at this time. The club, along with Josh’s family, requests the respect of privacy as we mourn this immense loss. Further comments will not be provided during this sensitive period.”

Worcestershire chief executive, the former England spinner Ashley Giles, offered a personal message.

“The news of Josh’s passing has left us all devastated. Josh was much more than a team-mate; he was an integral part of our cricket family. We will all miss him terribly. All our love and prayers go out to Josh’s family and friends,” said Giles.

Baker turned professional in 2021, taking 43 wickets in 22 first-class appearances, the last of which came against Durham less than a fortnight ago. He also played 17 List A games and eight T20s and was a travelling reserve for England at the Under-19 World Cup in 2022.