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Napier is delighted to sign new Essex contract
10:05am Friday 4th October 2013 in Sport
GRAHAM Napier wants to finish his career at Essex after agreeing a new contract with the county.
The Colchester-born all-rounder has penned a two-year deal at the County Ground, following a memorable season in all formats of the game.
Napier, 33, has hit the heights with both bat and ball for Essex, scoring nearly 800 runs and taking more than 50 wickets in First-Class games.
And the former Gilberd School pupil says he has no intention of playing anywhere else, having made his debut for the county back in 1997.
Napier said: “I’m part of the furniture at Essex. I started my career there and that’s where I want to finish.
“I probably have even more drive and enthusiasm to do well now than I did when I first started.
“It’s great to have signed the contract for another two years, on the back of such a good season.
“I’ve managed to remain injury-free after working hard over the winter months and continuing that in the summer.
“I’m always trying to put the hard work in and that will continue.”
Essex head coach Paul Grayson said: “I’m very happy that Graham has signed a new contract, especially after the sensational season he experienced last year.
“The 2013 season showed how important Graham is to the team when fully fit and I’m sure he will continue to be key member of the side for the next two years.”
Essex came close to glory on three different fronts this season.
They narrowly missed out on LV County Championship division two promotion and YB40 qualification, along with suffering Twenty20 Finals semi-final heartache.
But despite that disappointment, Colchester and East Essex member CC Napier is confident Grayson’s side can battle for success again next year.
“We’ve seen a lot of improvement at Essex over the last few years,” said Napier, who was Essex’s Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year.
“We’ll put the hard work in as a group and if we do that, I’m sure we can mount a challenge on all fronts again in 2014.
“Essex produce a lot of home grown talent - we have a great set up and it’s great to see them getting recognition.
“Reece Topley, Ben Foakes and Tymal Mills have been all called up for the England Performance Programme squad to go to Australia.
“On top of that, Jaik Mickleburgh has had a fantastic season and myself and James Foster have been at Essex since we were under-nines.”
Napier is preparing to take part in the Big Bike Ride with Essex team-mates Mickleburgh and Tim Phillips later this month.
The trio will start the five-day charity bike ride on October 18, where they will cover the 441 miles between Durham and London.
For more information on the Big Bike Ride, visit https://mydonate.bt.com/events/pcabfandtmtbigbikeride/95594
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