ALEX Mellor has agreed to become Leek Cricket Club's player-coach for the next two years.
The 29-year-old returned to his former club this summer, after being freed by Warwickshire, and captained Leek to fourth place in the North Staffs and South Cheshire League Premier Division.
Warwickshire signed the Staffordshire wicketkeeper/batsman on a one-year contract at the end of 2015 after he caught the eye playing for the first-class county's 2nd XI
Alex came to prominence by becoming only the seventh Staffordshire cricketer to score a double hundred in the Minor Counties Championship, with 208 not out against Suffolk in 2015.
He also set the county's record for dismissals in the same match by taking 11 catches.
Alex spent time on loan at Derbyshire in 2016 and made his Championship debut against Leicestershire.
He was promoted to open the batting at the start of the 2017 Championship season, but he was unable to stake a claim for permanent residency with the county, unlike a Leek player some years before him, Kim Barnett, had launched successful first-class career that led to England selection between 1988-89.
Alex's future at Warwickshire became in doubt when the Bears signed Michael Burgess, another keeper-batsman, midway through the 2019 summer, and has feared he was released at the end of the season.
Looking to the future, Alex said: “I’m delighted to be staying at Leek. I have loved being back home playing at Highfield and alongside my mates that I’ve grown up with at the club".
Alex is the son of Leek chairman Brian Mellor, who said: “Alex instilled a thoroughly professional structure to the playing side of the club both on and off the pitch.
“Practice sessions were taken to a new level together with our match-day preparations. He is now looking to develop this further over the next two years to hopefully take the club and its players on to better things as everyone bought in to the new professional methods that were introduced.
“Alex has already started on making preparations for next season and the whole squad is looking forward to working hard on their games during the winter and the start of the league next April.
“We look forward to the 2021 season and hope all of our teams look to continue on their form from this season.”