Thursday, June 1st, 2023


Michael Bracewell believes Worcestershire Rapids have “match winners all over the park” and admits glowing reports from other New Zealanders who have played at New Road “tipped the scales” in him signing for the 2023 Vitality Blast campaign.

The all-rounder follows in the footsteps of Black Caps Colin Munro, Martin Guptill, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mitchell Santner, Hamish Rutherford and Ish Sodhi, who have played red-white ball cricket for Worcestershire in recent years. 

Bracewell has helped the Rapids to win their opening three games, and his 2-20 from four overs played a key part in the Bank Holiday Monday win over Leicestershire Foxes.

The 32-year-old had previously been playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL and is now preparing for Friday’s Blast encounter with Notts Outlaws at Trent Bridge – the ground where he made his Test debut last summer.

Bracewell said: “One of the things that tipped me to sign for Worcestershire was everyone back in New Zealand, quite a strong contingent who had played here previously, all spoke highly of Worcestershire.

“Mitch (Santner) said it is a tough place to bowl, with quite small straight boundaries, but that it’s a lovely place here, and he couldn’t speak highly enough of the club or the city. 

“I spoke to Munners (Colin Munro), Guppy (Martin Guptill), Mitchell McClenaghan, Ish Sodhi, the list goes on. There are loads of Kiwis who have played here.

“It’s a great place, and I’m really enjoying it. I love playing the game. It’s my first experience of the Vitality Blast and really enjoying the experience so far and being in England, experiencing the county life.”

Bracewell has been determined to continue playing after suffering a finger injury during the opening win over Northamptonshire Steelbacks.

He said: “It’s part and parcel of playing cricket. You pick up wee niggles along the way and just try and deal with them.

“It’s just one of those things I have to keep monitoring and keep trying to avoid taking too many catches out there!

“You want to try and be out there as much as you can for the team and try and put performances on the board. It’s just a wee bump on it.”

Bracewell has been impressed with the way the Rapids have launched their T20 campaign.

He said: “T20 is all about momentum, and we’ve been able to win two or three games early on in the tournament and hopefully can carry that on a little bit further.

“I think we have bowled well in all three games, which has set us apart. The seamers have bowled well at the top, and then the spinners have come on and strangled teams through the middle.

“We want to entertain the crowd, and that is what T20 is about. It is about bringing the crowds in and entertaining them.

“We’ve got match-winners all over the park. You saw Finchy (Adam Finch) come out the other day and smack 30 off ten balls.

“We back all the guys right down to number 11, so it just shows the depth in the squad at the moment and the guys playing with confidence.”

Bracewell is enjoying the different challenges of English conditions compared to India.

He said: “The wickets are quite different. I’ve been in India for the past two months, and maybe that’s part and parcel of why I’m struggling a little with the bat at the moment.

“I’ll be working hard in the nets on things like that, and the beauty of being an all-rounder is that you get two bites of the apple. 

“Happy to contribute with the ball to games of cricket and try and win games.

“The IPL is brilliant. There are plenty of guys to learn from in that environment. You are playing with some of the best players in the world and against a lot of the best players in the world.

“You pick up little things along the way.”