Saturday, June 18th, 2016

Bumpy Recalls Days Watching Russell Playing Club Cricket

Bumpy Recalls Days Watching Russell Playing Club Cricket

Worcestershire Rapids Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes used to watch Andre Russell hit sixes for Barnards Green in club cricket before eventually signing him as the County's T20 player for the 2013 season.

Rhodes' son George, who has just broke into the first team squad with the Rapids, and Russell were then team-mates for the Malvern based club.

Now Russell and Rhodes junior will be on opposite sides when the Rapids take on Notts Outlaws in this afternoon's NatWest T20 Blast clash at New Road (2.30pm start).

Steve Rhodes is unsurprised at the impact West Indies star Russell has gone onto make in the short format of the game in various competitions all around the world.

The Rapids supremo said: "Andre was a player with Barnards Green and played with my son George and I used to go and watch them quite a lot on a Saturday.

"I always knew how well he hit a cricket ball and since those days he has made a fortune playing the various T20 formats – and quite rightly because he is very valuable player in that format.

"He bowls 90 miles per hour and he hits unbelievably out of the park and what an electric fielder, so a very exciting cricketer.

"Andre fitted in well here and it is a real coup for Notts to sign him – albeit for a short period."

Notts opener Alex Hales has made major steps forward since having a brief loan spell with Worcestershire during the 2014 campaign and is now an established part of the England set-up.

Rhodes said: "Alex only played that one game at Glamorgan but he was fine and fitted into our dressing room really well. He has made big strides in those two years since. I don't necessarily think that is down to us!

"It's a lot down to him but he came to us because he wasn't getting in the Notts four day team.

"Thankfully for him, he managed to kick on and got a regular spot and is now a regular player in the England Test side which is excellent news for him."