TRIBUTES have been flooding in for a Worcestershire Cricket star who was an "infectious character" and had a "full career ahead of him".

Josh Baker, a spin bowler for Worcestershire County Cricket Club, has died suddenly at the age of 20, his team announced today (Thursday).

Baker made his professional debut for Worcestershire's in 2021 after coming through the team's academy, and was in action for the second team yesterday (Wednesday) taking three wickets.

A multitude of tributes have been paid to the youngster, who attended Malvern College, from the cricketing world.

Ex-Worcestershire County Cricket captain Daryl Mitchell said on X (formally Twitter): "Absolutely devastating news.

"Bakes was an infectious character that became the life and soul of the dressing room at such a young age. Thoughts with the family and everyone at WCCC."

Barnt Green Cricket posted on Facebook: "Cricket in Worcestershire has lost one of its young shining lights. As other clubs have posted, Josh was loved by many, including all at Barnt Green with whom he had many close friends.

"Cricket is not really about cups and league's, its about the people.

"Josh will be fondly remembered as a caring friend, great bloke and always smiling."

Another of Baker's ex Worcestershire team-mates, Usama Mir, added: "So sad and upset to hear the news of Josh's passing.

"He was one of the nicest people you could meet. And a brilliant cricketer. Really devastated to hear this news. Thoughts and prayers with his family."

England Cricket posted: "Heart-breaking news. Rest in peace, Josh. Our thoughts are with Josh's loved ones at this desperately sad time."

A statement from the ECB (English Cricket Board) read: "The ECB is desperately sad to learn of the passing of Josh Baker. This is devastating news.

"We extend our best wishes to Josh's family and friends, to everyone who knew and loved him, and to everyone at Worcestershire CCC."

Professional Cricketers' Association chief executive Paul Lynch said: "Everybody at the PCA is heartbroken to hear of Josh’s passing and we offer our sincere condolences to all his family, friends and teammates.

“Josh was a cricketer with his full career and life ahead of him and this news is impossible to comprehend.

“The PCA and the Professional Cricketers’ Trust are working to support Josh’s family, his team-mates and all PCA members who are affected."

Ex-England captain Michael Vaughan said on X: "This is so sad. Thoughts with all his family & close friends."

England captain Ben Stokes sent a touching message to Baker when they faced one another during a county game in 2022.

Baker, then 18, was hit for five sixes by Stokes, who asked for the spinner's phone number to send him a message wishing him well after the game.

Rob Key, managing director for England's men team, added: "This is absolutely heartbreaking My thoughts go out to all of Josh’s family."