Saturday, December 9th, 2023


Assistant Coach, Richard Jones, believes Worcestershire keeper-batter, Henry Cullen, will benefit from being behind the stumps on a regular basis for the Seconds next summer.

Jones says Worcestershire are also looking for Cullen to continue his impressive form with the bat and make a big impression during 2024.

The Academy product was a member of the successful Seconds side last summer which registered six Championship wins and finished in fourth position.

But Gareth Roderick and Ben Cox sometimes also played for the Seconds which meant Cullen instead fielded at times in the slip cordon.

Jones said: “Next year Henry will have the gloves everytime he is playing second team cricket which is what he needs.

“It will obviously benefit him from a workload point of view, having to back up sessions as well as days as a wicketkeeper, while also fulfilling his role in the side as an important batter for us.

“After his development last summer, he should go into the season very confident in his ability to score consistent runs in both red and white ball cricket.

“The intensity of his season will increase, just because his role is going to be much clearer and he will have the gloves, so it’s pleasing to see him working so hard already this winter.

“It’s exciting to see how his all-round game develops this summer.”

Jones says Cullen also impressed as a general fielder when either Roderick or Cox, who has now moved to Leicestershire, were keeping wicket.

He said: “What that did do was give Henry opportunities to spend some time in the field.

“He is someone who has another dimension to his game by being able to fulfil a fielding role if needed – as well as keeping and batting.

“Henry was a very reliable slip catcher last summer and took some brilliant catches, as well as being a good mover in the outfield with a decent arm on him for a wicketkeeper. He does have more than one string to his bow.”

Cullen enjoyed a prolific spell last winter playing grade cricket for Plenty Valley but opted to remain with Worcestershire during the current close season.

Jones said: “He is working on some things at the moment with his batting, and I know he will be able to get some specific wicketkeeping time during the winter as well to develop that side of his game.

“He made the decision that he wanted to stay at home this winter and do some purposeful skill development work, which is a testament to his maturity, as it would have been easy for him to go back to Melbourne and spend his winter in the sun.

“So far, he’s fitted really well into the squad, shows a desire to work hard, and as I’ve mentioned previously is developing a reputation as someone who inherently plays the game well and is a real fighter.

“You need young characters like that coming through in the dressing room. Having worked with him closely, you can see a real desire to compete, and he has already put in some eye-catching performances in different scenarios across the formats.

“He is an exciting prospect for us, for sure.”