Ben Smith has finally put pen to paper on a deal to effectively tie him to Worcestershire for the rest of his career, writes Ged Scott.
The former captain at New Road has, as expected, signed the two-year extension to his existing contract which will take him to the end of the 2008 season by which time he will be in his 37th year.
"I have made it no secret that I would like to finish my career with Worcestershire," Smith said. " And I am delighted that we have agreed to this contract extension.
"It gives me some future security and I can concentrate on helping the team achieve the success it is due."
The popular Smith made his decison only 11 days after the departure of Worcestershire's director of cricket Tom Moody.
Smith did not always see eye to eye with Moody, a cause of his headline-making decision to stand down as captain in the middle of a County Championship match last August.
Worcestershire have agreed a first full-time contract with Daryl Mitchell, a graduate of their Academy, extended to the end of next season.
Mitchell, one of two Worcestershire-born players to play in the first team in the past month, announced himself on the big stage last week with a gritty 63 not out, a five-hour maiden first-class half-century, in the 12-run defeat to Leicestershire.
Meanwhile, two Worcestershire Academy players, fast bowler Richard Jones and spinner Miles Illingworth, the son of former Worcestershire and England all- rounder Richard, have been called up for England duty.
They are in the ECB's Midland squad to play in three matches at Loughborough's National Cricket Centre under England youth coaches John Abrahams and Andy Pick. Also included are Warwickshire pair Moeen Ali and Nick James.