Friday, September 12th, 2014

Bumpy Dedicates County Promotion To Damian D’oliveira

Bumpy Dedicates County Promotion To Damian D’oliveira

Worcestershire Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes dedicated promotion to Division One of the LV = County Championship to former Academy Director Damian D'Oliveira who sadly passed away earlier this season.

D'Oliveira was responsible for the discovery and development of many of the Worcestershire side which overcame Surrey by 27 runs at New Road to ensure the county sealed a return to the top flight.

Worcestershire's eighth win of the campaign ensured they will finish in the top two – a position they have occupied all season.

Rhodes said: "I've gone through so many emotions over these few days really. Today I've never been as nervous in all my life, all cricket, anytime.

"These boys have worked their nuts off all season and there have been some special performances from all of them at times.

"When we lost Alan Richardson in the winter, everyone said 'you are not going to do anything, you've lost your best bowler' and Moeen Ali has not been here for a lot of year.

"For the lads to pull this off has been a special performance all-round.

"But there is one bloke who we should really pay tribute to for this promotion and that's Damian D'Oliveira.

"It was very sad in the middle of the season, the boys took it quite bad, so we are dedicating this promotion to Damian."

Rhodes hailed the match-turning performance of Jack Shantry who became the first player in the history of the game batting at number nine or lower to score a century and take 10 wickets in the same first class match.

He said: "I have been very frustrated with the top order in these last three or four games and they know that but how Jack has turned the game around is quite incredible.

"It's like Botham's Ashes at Headingley. He doesn't give up, Jack is a very determined character but also in the defeats recently there have been some good fightbacks.

"We have shown a lot more fight than we would have done in the past."

Rhodes paid tribute to the team spirit in the Worcestershire dressing room as they prepare for life in the top division.

He said: "To go and play in Division One is going to be a really tough task for us but I'm hoping we show a little bit more steel than previous because the guys have worked particularly hard.

"It won't be easy but we'll hopefully put on a better showing.

"The one thing about the dressing room is it is very together. The guys get on ever so well.

"That is your 12th man. It is a big help when you play against sides who possibly haven't got that.

"It is a team game and we have shown a real team spirit and togetherness which has helped us."