Tuesday, May 17th, 2022


Azhar Ali has thanked Worcestershire’s players and coaches for their sterling support in helping him settle into the 2022 campaign at New Road.

The Pakistan star batter has responded in style to a challenging start to the summer when combating some seamer-friendly wickets and bitterly cold weather with a trio of quality innings.

He struck a fine 92 to help draw the home encounter with Durham and then followed that up with 88 and 60 in the drawn game with Derbyshire at the Incora County Ground.

Azhar was involved in two substantial partnerships with Jack Haynes – 195 versus Durham and 187 in the first innings against Derbyshire – before adding 164 with Jake Libby on the final day at Derby.

Now he will be hoping for more of the same heading into Thursday’s LV=Insurance County Championship match with Leicestershire at New Road.

He said: “I was quite disappointed the way I had started (the season), but the dressing room and the head coach, all the coaching staff, were really positive.

“They all said to me, ‘you are just one innings away,’ and I felt so as well.

“When you don’t score runs, you can start to doubt yourself, but I just had to stay positive and play as well as I could.

“I am really enjoying my cricket. I played for Somerset before, but Worcestershire is another really good club, and the boys are really nice, the club is nice.

“In April, it was really tough with the weather, especially with the wind being quite cold, and I was really feeling it.

“But the weather can change very quickly in England, it’s getting better now, a bit warmer.”

Azhar is keen to make his mark on his new teammates and pass on any information that may be of benefit from his decade long career at the top.

He said: “As a senior player, who has played a lot of cricket, I just want to make them feel good as well.

“They are very talented players, and on top of that, they are all very good guys.

“I’m sure they are going to be very good cricketers and also going to be very good human beings as well.”