Monday, February 9th, 2015

Bumpy: It Feels “almost Like Having Four New Signings” For 2015 Season

Bumpy: It Feels “almost Like Having Four New Signings” For 2015 Season

Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes admits it feels "almost like having four new signings" in the Worcestershire squad for the 2015 campaign.

Rhodes believes the squad which gained promotion to Division One of the LV = County Championship will be bolstered by the addition of Gareth Andrew, Alex Gidman, Joe Clarke and Ed Barnard.

Andrew is fully fit after his fractured lumbar pedicle after only being able to bowl in the opening four Championship matches of last season in which he took 20 wickets.

He proved his worth the last time Worcestershire were in the top flight by being runner-up to Marcus Trescothick in the PCA's Most Valuable Player lists.

Gidman is the genuine newcomer at New Road amongst the quartet after joining from Gloucestershire on a two year deal and the 33-year-old will add experience to a young middle order.

But there will also be new squad additions in England Under-19 duo Ed Barnard and Joe Clarke – two more county Academy products who Rhodes feels are ready to challenge for first team cricket.

Rhodes said: "In many ways we've got four new players this year. One of them is Gareth (Andrew) because he only played four games last year as a bowler anyway.

"To have him fighting for a spot, fighting alongside the likes of Ed Barnard, and Joe Leach, for the all-rounder spot, that is tremendous, to have those sort of quality guys.

"The other fellows are Alex Gidman, who is a new player with great experience and a fine record, and the other two are Ed Barnard and Joe Clarke.

"They are both capable of playing first team cricket as talented England Under-19 cricketers. They are doing relatively well this winter (playing grade cricket in Australia).

"To me that is almost like having four new signings."