Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

Forecast More Optimistic For Next Three Days After County Frustrated By Weather

Worcestershire were left frustrated by a first day wash-out against ICC World Cup finalists New Zealand at New Road – but the forecast is more optimistic for the next three days.

Persistent rain from about 9am this morning showed no sign of relenting and play was eventually called off at 1.50pm.

Worcestershire chief executive David Leatherdale said: "To be honest the rain on the first day has been forecast for about the last week or so. 

"They are a lot better at forecasting things than it used to be.

"But tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday, the weather is a lot better so we should get some decent cricket during the next three days."

All-rounder Ed Barnard's fine start to the season has been rewarded with a place in the Worcestershire squad.

Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes confirmed Barnard will come into the equation to face the Black Caps in their last match before the launch of the two Tests against England.

England Under-19 all-rounder Barnard impressed during the winter Down Under playing for Queanbeyan District and continued that form into the pre-season trip to Abu Dhabi, warm-up games in this country and for the Second Eleven.

Last week he scored a fine century against Warwickshire Seconds at Barnt Green and returned figures of 3-3 from eight overs with the ball.

Rhodes said: "Ed has had a good start. He's played really well. He's bowled really well and he got a hundred last week against Warwickshire Seconds at Barnt Green which was outstanding.

"Then he bowled a spell of 3-3 in eight overs which was excellent.

"He impressed us on the tour to Abu Dhabi and quite rightly some of the Worcestershire supporters will get a look at him against New Zealand.

"Ed is physically a lot stronger, he is better for the winter abroad where he learnt being on his own as a youngster in Canberra.

"You grow up a lot when that happens and he is a very mature kid.

"He's got a good cricket brain, he's got all the right attributes for a successful career and we are very pleased to have someone of his qualities who is trying to push for a place in the first team."

Rhodes also believes it will be a chance for paceman Charlie Morris to impress after his excellent start to 2015.

Morris has followed on from 52 LV = County Championship wickets in his first season with career best match figures of 9-109 in the win over Somerset.

Rhodes said: "He has had a marvellous start to the season and I'm pretty sure people will be raising a few eyebrows at the wickets he's got.

"If he can pick up three, four, five wickets against New Zealand top order, then I think it is going to impress a lot of people."