Head Coach Alan Richardson believes new Worcestershire signing, batter Rob Jones, will reap the benefits of linking up with the Rapids for the Metro Bank One-Day Cup campaign ahead of his permanent move to New Road.
Jones has signed a three-year contract with Worcestershire until the end of the 2026 campaign after agreeing to move from Lancashire but is also available to play on loan for the Rapids in the 50 over tournament throughout this August.
He made his first appearance for the Rapids in yesterday’s National Counties Showcase Match with Shropshire at Shrewsbury CC and is part of the squad for the opening Metro Bank One Day Cup match versus Durham tomorrow (Tuesday) at the Seat Unique Riverside.
It is a similar scenario to last summer when Matthew Waite agreed a three-year contract at New Road but then re-joined Worcestershire for a second spell on loan from Yorkshire for the final part of the season.
Jones has an impressive record in List A cricket, having scored 710 runs at an average of 41.76, and he hit a century in his last innings for Lancashire in the LV=Insurance County Championship match with Essex at Blackpool.
Richardson said: Rob joining for the One-Day Cup is a great acquisition for us and also a real opportunity for him to come along and have a look.
“He knows the majority of the lads, and he knows what Worcestershire is about, but to actually live and breathe it for a month during the One-Day Cup will be a really good exercise for both really.
“It’s a nice induction for Rob and a really good introduction for him to the group. He is part of the future.
“We’ve had it last year already when Matthew Waite came on loan a couple of times and it is exciting for Rob to have that opportunity as well.”
The Rapids have announced a 14 strong squad, with less players part of The Hundred compared to last year, and Richardson admitted: “It gives us a huge selection headache which is quite nice.
“I think the depth of the squad is the beauty of it. We haven’t lost many players after the wildcard selections for The Hundred.
“I was disappointed that a few guys didn’t get in to be honest. I thought we had a really good season.
“But for those it will be an opportunity to continue our white ball work in the 50 over competition.
“It is exciting times that we are going to have a really competitive squad to choose from which has not always been the case, and it is not always a case for a lot of the other counties.
“Our 50 over form since we came back from covid, has been a bit mixed. We’ve put in really good solid performances with some good results and sometimes we’ve not been so good.”
Richardson added: “As a group we are continuing to evolve and develop. We’ve still got a lot of young exciting players who are trying to develop their game.
“I think the 50 over competition is one of the hardest ones, and physically probably the hardest of the lot, to play with T20 intensity for three hours.
“It’s a real test for us and one we should be excited about and it’s another competition where we want to put our hat in the ring and be really competitive and give ourselves a chance of winning.”
Jake Libby ©