Ben Dwarshuis says positive words from prolific former Worcestershire CCC batsman Phil Jaques, encouraged him to join the long line of Australian players to enjoy a spell at New Road – and he has quickly made an impact.
Opening batsman Jaques had three spells with the county, scored 2,154 runs in just 26 first-class games, and hit his career-best score of 244 versus Essex in 2006.
He is now Head Coach of Dwarshuis’ State side, New South Wales, and had nothing but good things to say about Worcestershire.
The left-arm paceman has quickly settled into playing Vitality Blast cricket.
He returned 4-31 against Yorkshire Vikings at New Road and on Friday evening was in fine form again with 2-27 in the home win over Durham, which boosted the Rapids top-four hopes.
Dwarshuis, the leading wicket-taker for 2020-2021 Big Bash League winners, Sydney Sixers, said: “I was aware a lot of Australians had played for Worcestershire, and I spoke to Phil Jacques.
“I had a chat to him about Worcestershire first before I signed and he said only positive things about the club.
“It put me in an excellent mindset to come over here.
“I’ve set nicely. The boys have been great, really welcoming, and we’ve been getting on really well.
“I let some people know that I was interested in travelling over here and spending some time in the ‘off’ (winter) season in England, and it was Alex Gidman who got in touch with me first and asked if I’d be interested.
“I snapped up the opportunity. It was always something I wanted to do.
“It is my first time in England. I’ve always wanted to come here and play a bit of cricket, so when the offer came, I was more than happy to come.”
Dwarshuis admits one of his cricketing heroes is another ex Worcestershire player.
He said: “A bloke who has played here before in Glenn McGrath….he was one of my heroes.
“He played for the local club I play for back home, and our Oval is named after him now.
“He was a great idol, and Adam Gilchrist was another. I was more of a batter when I was a bit younger, so watching him go out there and smash away at the top of the order was always good fun.”
Dwarshuis has won back-to-back Big Bash titles and says the Rapids can qualify for the Blast’s knockout stages.
He said: “There is absolutely no reason why we can’t. We’ve got a great set-up and a great team. We get along really well; we all fight for each other on the field because we get along so well together off the field.
“The Big Bash League win, it was brilliant. Due to the state of the world at the moment, we are in a bit of a bio bubble, and that’s a challenge in itself. We didn’t get to spend a lot of time in Sydney and played only one game on our home ground which was the final.
“It was a challenge to be travelling around and spending some time away from home, but I think that puts you in excellent stead when you do experience overseas stints when you are away from home for an extended period. It can help you get through that.
“Winning the Big Bash was fantastic, and hopefully, I can help Worcestershire to some success. We started positively and showed some great fight in the home game against Notts to come back and earn a point.
“We have got the batting and bowling line-up to go far in this competition.”