Friday, June 17th, 2016

Bumpy: Having Moeen Back For T20 Double Header Is “a Massive Plus”

Bumpy: Having Moeen Back For T20 Double Header Is “a Massive Plus”

Worcestershire Rapids Director Of Cricket Steve Rhodes has revealed the "hurt" felt by Moeen Ali after being on the losing side earlier in the NatWest T20 Blast campaign as he welcomes back the England all-rounder for a double header in the same competition.

Moeen has been made available by England for tonight's clash with Leicestershire Foxes at the Fischer County Ground and tomorrow's home meeting with Notts Outlaws (2.30pm).

His previous appearance in the competition was in the Rapids seven wicket setback away to Northamptonshire Steelbacks – the Rapids only defeat in their opening five games in their surge to the top of the North Group.

But Rhodes is delighted to have the 28-year-old available for as many games as possible.

He said: "It is a massive plus to have him back for the two games and it hurt him the defeat when he played at Northants in the T20 earlier in the season.

"It hurt him because he desperately wants Worcestershire to win games of cricket.

"He saw us winning games and then, when he played, we lost and that's what he said to me 'Bumpy we've lost and I'm playing.'

"He is a world class international player now and to have him available for those two games is just what we want.

"He is a far better T20 better than people often give him credit for.

"We know how good he is and if you look at his stats, particularly over the last three or four years in T20 cricket in England, you will see a bowler that has performed well quite regularly and consistently."

Skipper Daryl Mitchell echoed Rhodes' comments about Moeen.

He said: "Moeen has played one, lost one in the competition, which is something the lads will remind him about on Friday!

"But having Moeen back is a huge bonus. It is like having two players back as he will bat at the top of the order and bowl his off spin as well.

"It is a great boost whenever he is available. His batting at the top of the order has proven in the past he has played some match winning innings and hopefully he can do that in at least one of the games.

"His bowling record has been very good as well and was part of the England T20 side in the World Cup where we had a lot of success, getting to the final, so he is a massive player with a lot of experience and gives everyone a boost whenever he is around.

"Anytime to have him back is a big boost, but fortunately the England lads are available for one weekend and we have got two games, which is a bonus."