PROMISING young cricketer Sonny Baker has joined the Somerset Academy.

The 17-year-old impressed in a number of matches in the latter part of the summer and his performances culminated in him being selected for the England Development Programme North v South Matches.

Baker is a right-arm fast bowler who plays his club cricket at Torquay Cricket Club and progressed through the Devon Age groups.

He said: “Being signed on to the Somerset Academy has been something I’ve been targeting and working hard for over the last three years.

“It’s a privilege to be able to train with the Academy boys and I’m grateful for the opportunity to work alongside Somerset’s best up and coming players.”

Head of talent pathway Steve Snell said: “Sonny possesses some highly exciting skills, such as bowling with pace and bounce, but crucially he has displayed the character traits of someone who is highly motivated to develop himself and to keep pushing himself to improve.

“Sonny has carved out this opportunity by working hard and smartly on his game for the past few years, despite numerous knock-backs, and it is a credit to him that he has continued to think about his game and positively impact his own growth.

"Sonny has asked tough questions of himself on the areas he needs to improve, and he has been proactive about working on them."

Baker has attended King's College in Taunton for the past four years, and has also shown impressive pace in school fixtures.

Rob Woodman, director of cricket at King’s, said: “It was a very proud moment for everyone connected with Sonny to hear of his selection on to the Somerset Academy.

"Sonny has worked extremely hard over a number of years and he has been extremely thoughtful and diligent with his practice.

"His attitude has been highly proactive, and his thoughts and energy are clearly directed towards improving every aspect of himself.

“Sonny is one of the first pupils to benefit from our new Cricket Centre, and we are so pleased that the huge number of extra hours he has put into his development have paid dividends.”

Baker will aim to follow in the footsteps of recent Academy graduates Tom Banton, Dom Bess and Jack Leach, who have all gone on to represent England as well as Somerset's 1st XI.