Monday, May 20, 2024

Heartbreaking interview Josh Baker gave last summer re-emerges after his tragic death: Eloquent and talented cricketer, 20, opens up on his excitement for the future upon signing for Worcestershire

Must read

A heartbreaking interview with Josh Baker has emerged, in which he can be seen speaking on his ambitions for the future a little over a year prior to his tragic death.

The cricket world was sent into shock on Thursday when Baker’s club revealed the 20-year-old had passed away before tributes began to flow in for the talented spinner.

Mail Sport has since learned that Baker was found dead in his apartment by a friend after he didn’t show up for the start of play on the third day of his team’s match against Somerset.

Baker was taking part in a second team game in his home county when he died, with the match abandoned and ruled a draw following the news.

A day after his passing, a video of an interview with the spinner on the back of signing a new contract and returning from injury last summer has emerged and makes for heartbreaking viewing. 

Baker revealed his target of playing for England in the future

Heartbreaking footage of Josh Baker has emerged, in which he can be seen speaking about his ambitions for the future

The talented cricketer was found dead in his apartment by a friend when he failed to turn up for a game he was playing in

The talented cricketer was found dead in his apartment by a friend when he failed to turn up for a game he was playing in 

The left-arm bowler was a travelling reserve for England at the Under-19 World Cup in 2022 and was targeting the senior squad

The left-arm bowler was a travelling reserve for England at the Under-19 World Cup in 2022 and was targeting the senior squad

‘It’s very exciting, the future as well,’ Baker can be seen saying. ‘Just to have a bit of security. After the injury as well, not playing since August, it’s a lot of security, very happy to sign that contract.

‘Very positive, back to full fitness, back to bowling, back to doing everything, back with the lads as well which is nice, so fully fit and ready to go. All systems go, green light.

‘It was a very big step up from school cricket, a lot of tired legs, T20 has ben a massive step up with the intensity of it and playing against big names which has been a bit of a challenge but one that I have enjoyed.

‘Most of the lads were a really big help, telling me to keep doing what I’m doing and that’s good enough. the biggest challenge is bowling to very good players like Joe Root, Dawid Malan.’

Baker, then 19, had just put pen to paper on a new contract to stay at Worcestershire until the end of the 2025 season.

He went onto make a total of 47 appearances for his county after turning pro in 2021, with two coming earlier on this year.

The talented star can be seen in the video revealing his England ambitions, having been a part of his country’s Under 19 squad previously.

‘I want to try and get up the order and bat seven or eight,’ he said. ‘Be a genuine all-rounder because trying get into the Test side or the Lions side you need to be able to hold a bat as well.

‘At some stage I want to try and get there and even further from there. Seeing Haynes and Tongue away with the Lions this winter and really going well has really wet my apatite for it a little bit more.’

Worcestershire said they were  'heartbroken' at the death of 20-year-old spinner Baker

Worcestershire said they were  ‘heartbroken’ at the death of 20-year-old spinner Baker

Baker was playing in a second team game against Somerset when he was found

He took three wickets in the match, including that of England star Jack Leach (pictured)

Baker was playing in a second team game against Somerset, taking three wickers on Wednesday

He went onto reveal the season ambitions for Worcestershire, who went onto earn promotion to Division One, saying: ‘I feel like we have a genuinely good squad and have recruited quite well. I think we will do well in every competition. 

‘We have spoken about the willingness to win every game, try and win Division Two, the Blast and the 50 over, those are our aims for this year.’

A matter of hours before Baker’s passing, Worcestershire’s X (formerly Twitter) account shared a compilation of the youngster’s efforts on Wednesday during the ongoing match against Somerset.

He had taken three wickets on Wednesday in the game, including that of current England star Jack Leach.

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

‘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.

‘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.

‘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. Further comments will not be provided during this sensitive period.’

Baker’s parents, meanwhile, have said they are ‘broken’ following their son’s passing.

‘We are both broken. Achieved so many of his dreams before reaching 21,’ they wrote on social media. ‘Take every opportunity to hug your parents and children.’

Baker's parents Lisa and Paul took to Facebook to share their devastation and thank friends and relatives for sharing their memories of their son

Baker’s parents Lisa and Paul took to Facebook to share their devastation and thank friends and relatives for sharing their memories of their son 

The heartbreaking comment was accompanied by a poignant photograph of the couple hugging Josh on the boundary at Worcestershire County Cricket Club.

They added: ‘We’ve taken great comfort from the many messages received so far – keep sharing and posting your memories please.’

It has emerged that Baker was diagnosed as diabetic from a very young age and a medical cause of death is being explored.

His death is being investigated by the coroner and an inquest is expected to be opened next week.

Latest article