YORKSHIRE have announced that top order batter Noah Kelly has signed his first professional contract with the county.

Kelly, 18, has penned a two-and-a-half-year rookie deal, which started on July 1.

The left-hander has been with Yorkshire since the age of 10 and has graduated through the age groups.

The Driffield Town product makes the step up from the club’s academy, where he has been a heavy run-scorer for the last three summers, including in 2024.

“Yorkshire is such a massive club and my home club as well,” said a delighted Kelly. “To sign with them adds more beauty to it and I can’t wait to get stuck in.

 “The pathway has been absolutely amazing. I joined it when I was 10 and have gone all the way through.

 “This is a big check point in my cricketing career. Signing your maiden academy deal is your first, and your second is that first professional deal.

“It feels like a new chapter and the beginning of a lot of hard work to come.”

Kelly, a former Bunbury Festival player, won the Yorkshire Premier League North title with Driffield in 2022, the same season he helped Yorkshire’s second team win the Championship title.

In all cricket last summer, including some England representative cricket and for Driffield, he scored 2,025 runs in 45 matches with 12 fifties and five hundreds.

At the start of this summer, he hit a superb 171 for Yorkshire’s Academy side in a two-day friendly against Lancashire at Bradford Park Avenue while batting at number three.

Kelly made his second-team debut for his home county towards the end of 2022 and was with Yorkshire’s first team for the first time this April, undertaking 12th man duties for the Championship match against Middlesex at Lord’s.

The teenager plans to travel to Australia to play some winter grade cricket at the end of this season.

On his aims before then, however, he added: “I first of all want to get some good scores in the second half of the second-team T20 block, which is ongoing.

“There’s then quite a break in the second-team schedule for the Metro Bank One-Day Cup. If I can get some scores in the twos, we’ll see what happens. I’m trying to put my hand up for the firsts for that.

 “Whatever happens, I just want to keep being positive. That’s something I’m determined to keep doing.”

Yorkshire’s academy lead coach Tom Craddock broke the news of the professional contract offer to Kelly and his parents and said: “It’s been an honour and a privilege to work with Noah over the past seven years.

Noah Kelly (bottom right) with his Yorkshire Academy team-mates earlier this season.Noah Kelly (bottom right) with his Yorkshire Academy team-mates earlier this season. (Image: SWpix.com)

“Watching him develop as a cricketer in both age-group cricket and in the academy has been amazing.

 “Alongside this, he has grown into a brilliant young man, who has always worked extremely hard to be the best player he can be.

 “He never underestimated how important each opportunity was when he got to represent his county, and it showed.

“He ended up amassing over 4,500 runs whilst playing in the age-groups and academy, which is an astonishing effort.

 “I speak on behalf of all the coaches and volunteers who have helped him on his journey, we are all so proud and delighted for Noah.

“He fully deserves his first professional contract, and we can’t wait to watch him thrive and go on to achieve great things for Yorkshire and hopefully England.”

Kelly is not the only player celebrating a Yorkshire deal, with wicketkeeper Harry Duke signing a two-year contraction extension at the club, keeping him at Headingley until the end of 2026.