A RISING star for Worcestershire County Cricket Club has died at the age of 20.

Josh Baker, who was a talented spin bowler for Worcestershire, has died the club announced today (Thursday).

Baker has been a key part of Worcestershire's team having made his professional debut for the first-team in 2021 after coming through the team's academy.

He was named as one of two reserve players in England's team for the 2022 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup in the West Indies.

The youngster, who attended Malvern College, had been in action for his county's second team only yesterday (Wednesday) where he took three wickets.

Baker had featured in 20 first-class matches up until the end of last season.

The club released a statement, which read: "Worcestershire County Cricket Club is heartbroken to announce the untimely passing of Josh Baker, who was aged only 20 years old.

"Josh turned professional with the Club in 2021 and quickly became a popular figure within the squad.

"More than his skills as a spin bowler, 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.

"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."

"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. No further comments will be provided during this sensitive period."

Ashley Giles, Worcestershire’s Chief Executive Officer, paid tribute to Baker, calling him an "integral part" of the Worcestershire cricket family.

“The news of Josh’s passing has left us all devastated," said Giles.

“Josh was much more than a teammate; 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.”