Olly Stone signs Nottinghamshire deal after Warwickshire talks break down

Olly Stone signs Nottinghamshire deal after Warwickshire talks break down

Olly Stone, the England fast bowler, will join Nottinghamshire at the end of the season. He may already have played his last game for Warwickshire after suffering a finger injury that has ruled him out for at least a month.

ESPNcricinfo understands that Stone’s contract talks with Warwickshire broke down because of the club’s reluctance to offer him a multi-year deal keeping in mind his injury history, while Notts agreed a three-year, all-format deal, which will run until the end of the 2025 season.

“I have always had good games against Nottinghamshire, and I love playing at Trent Bridge,” Stone said. “It is a great ground, and when the option came up to make it my home, it was really exciting.

“The wicket teaches you to bowl well; it tests you every time you have the ball in hand, but you get the rewards if you get it in the right area. The pitch has pace and bounce, so hopefully I can make the most of that.

“I feel physically in the best shape I have been in, and the ball is coming out nicely. My pace is where it needs to be. Now, it is just about putting a run of games together and performances in to back it up.”

Stone has had another frustrating year with injuries, recovering from a stress fracture he suffered last summer to play ten games in the Blast, taking 13 wickets and bowling at good pace. There was an outside chance that he would have played against Surrey this week in what would have been his first first-class game in over a year. But he was injured during a second-team game this week with a suspected broken finger – an injury which looks set to rule him out of his £100,000 contract with Birmingham Phoenix in the Hundred.

“He got an injury on the third day and has broken a finger so he’s going to be out for a period of time,” Mark Robinson, Warwickshire’s coach, told BBC West Midlands. “For a bloke who has had a lot of injuries to have another one now after all the work he had done… suddenly to be out for six weeks, or four weeks with this break in his finger, it’s heartbreaking for him.”

Phoenix will be able to sign a replacement for Stone if they wish. They may also have to contend without Chris Woakes for most of the season. Robinson described Woakes as being “no nearer” to a comeback from injury – though Adam Milne, the New Zealand fast bowler, should be fit to play a part after a recent Achilles injury.

Stone joined Warwickshire at the end of the 2016 season after breaking through at Northamptonshire and said his highlights at the club were playing in Finals Day in 2017, winning the County Championship last summer, and playing a Test at Edgbaston in 2021.

“While it’s disappointing that Olly has made this decision, we of course respect it and wish him all the best for the future,” Paul Farbrace, Warwickshire’s director of cricket, said. “We know our bowling attack is an area we need to strengthen, and we have already made some movements as we look to enhance the squad for 2023, in addition to the recent signings of allrounders Ed Barnard and Moeen Ali.”

Peter Moores, Nottinghamshire’s coach, said, “Olly is a fantastic bowler across all formats, as he has shown across a long period of time, and his pace and aggression have proved a handful in the games he has played against us.

“He has experienced some highs as a player, in winning trophies and playing for his country, but he continues to possess great drive and an insatiable appetite to keep improving – which I have no doubt he will at Trent Bridge.”

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98

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