Azhar Ali is set to make his Worcestershire debut, and opener Ed Pollock is also in contention to play his first-ever LV=Insurance County Championship match against Leicestershire at the Uptonsteel County Ground tomorrow.
Azhar has been practicing with his teammates after flying in to England at the weekend following a successful Test Series for Pakistan against Australia.
He is available for the bulk of the red ball campaign and is part of a 13 strong squad announced today to face Leicestershire.
Head Coach Alex Gidman said: “We’d heard some fantastic things about him as a person, and he has quickly settled in.
“On the pitch, we know what he is capable of. Off the pitch, we are desperately excited to get to know him and watch him go about his business.
“He comes with a great reputation, and we are looking forward to having him with us for most of the summer.”
Pollock did not play any red-ball cricket for Warwickshire but has impressed in pre-season to put himself in the frame for a possible debut.
Gidman said: “Part of his reason to move was to have a better opportunity or better chance of playing Championship cricket.
“He has been really, really impressive during pre-season and deserves to be in the first squad.”
Brett D’Oliveira will lead out the side in a competitive match for the first time since being made official Club Captain.
Gidman said: “It will be a proud thing for him. Brett is Worcestershire through and through, and he is highly passionate and excited about this group of players and the club.
“He is a wonderful young man, an exceptional young leader, tactically very astute, and a very inspirational captain.
“I can assure everyone that the team and the club are in very safe hands with Brett as the club captain.”
Gidman is happy with the blend of players available going into the 2022 season.
He said: “We’ve got a core of senior players, a core of well-established players, and we’ve got a core of really good young players.
“We’ve got a nice balance, there is a lot of competition which is healthy and, all in all, I feel we are in a really good place, and the players do, and we are excited to get going.
“We always try and focus on what we can do on the pitch and take it game by game, and Brett (D’Oliveira) and I are very clear in what we are looking for from the players.
“They are more than capable of doing that, and when they do, they are a very competitive and skilful group of players.
“Equally, we know we’ve got to be somewhere near our best because there are some very good teams in our division.
“We are looking forward to the weekly challenges of playing in that division, and we know we are going to come across some very good teams.
“But if we focus on ourselves, then we will see when it takes us.”
WORCESTERSHIRE SQUAD VERSUS LEICESTERSHIRE
Brett D’Oliveira *
Ben Cox +