Yorkshire star Fin Bean has been reflecting on what could potentially be the most significant day in the fledgling opener’s career to date, him posting a career best century at New Road before being announced as a fully fledged professional.

Bean, 21, completed a superb 135 on day two of the ongoing LV= Insurance County Championship clash with Worcestershire, advancing from 69 overnight. It was the left-hander’s third four-day hundred of the season so far.

Shortly after close, the club announced that the Harrogate-born player had signed a two-year contract to elevate him from rookie status to senior professional.

This is a player who last year scored a record-breaking 441 for Yorkshire twos against Nottinghamshire, him hitting the headlines worldwide for posting the highest ever score in the Second XI Championship.

So does he agree that today was even more significant than that?

“I think so, yeah,” he said. “It’s about making those steps, isn’t it. 

“My 441 was at second-team level, and then hundreds at first-team level beat that to be fair. Now, to get a new contract, it’s brilliant.

“It was in doubt whether I’d ever get a crack at professional cricket. So to have that chance here at Yorkshire, where I’ve grown up, is brilliant. I’ve got so much to thank the club for in having me back.”

Bean is referring to the fact that at the end of 2019, he stepped away from the pro game to go and work as a mechanic before being invited back by Yorkshire last summer.

“I left the professional game during Covid to work,” he said. 

Fin Bean

“I got offered an Academy contract by Yorkshire, and at the time I thought I was ready to step up as a professional. So I thought I’d step out of the game and work. 

“I was then lucky enough for Tom Smith and Tim Boon to give me a call to come back following some performances in club cricket (for York). Everything else has happened so quickly.

“Eighteen months out of the game it probably was, and 16 months in you’re thinking, ‘Am I going to have another crack at it or is this my time done in professional cricket?’

“To sign a new deal, this is what it’s all about. Hopefully I can build from here.

“I always had that bit of self belief that I’d do it. But it’s nice to know you’re backed by the club and coaches.” 

So, it begs the question, what are the next aims for Bean. He gave answers in the short, medium and long-term, including white ball cricket and England ambitions.

“To try and keep scoring hundreds!” he smiled.

“I built my winter around the red ball stuff to try and get into the side and nail that. Now, it’s building on my cricket as a whole. The white ball stuff is something I need to work on, play in and develop.

“Playing Test Cricket is the highest point, and it’s something every young cricketer wants to do. I absolutely want to get to that point.”

Bean has been announced as one of eight young players to have extended their contracts at Headingley.

“A lot of us have played a lot of cricket together over the years and have grown up together,” he said. “It’s nice for us all to be a part of something at this club.”

And on today’s play, he said: “It’s just nice to keep getting scores and helping the team out, and hundreds are always nice. 

“I said last week, it’s about getting big scores and once you’re in making hay.

“Giving it away slightly is always disappointing, especially when you’re feeling that good. I feel like I’ve left a few out there, so I was a bit disappointed to get out when I did.

“Last year, I had a lot of scores between 50 and 100, whereas this year it’s been about making it count and going on and getting the big hundreds. Now, it’s about getting 150s and 200s. It’s just those baby steps.

Bean shared 177 for the first wicket with Adam Lyth, and last night Lyth praised Bean. Now it’s Fin’s turn to praise his more experienced opening partner.

“Lythy’s really nice to bat with,” he added. “And when he’s around in the winter, you can pick his brains on how he goes about things. He’s faced these bowlers for numerous years, so it’s nice to see what he does.”

PHOTOS: John Heald.

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