Monday, July 4th, 2016

George Rhodes Rewarded For Continued Development With Two Year Deal

George Rhodes Rewarded For Continued Development With Two Year Deal

Worcestershire all-rounder George Rhodes has signed a new two year contract after being rewarded for his continued development with bat and ball during the past 12 months.

The 22-year-old, who is in the last year of his current contract, has put pen to paper on a new deal until the end of the 2018 season.

It means the equivalent of an entire team – 11 players – have signed fresh contracts since last August.

Rhodes, who captains the Second Eleven, has made his senior breakthrough this season in white ball cricket in the Royal London One-Day Cup and NatWest T20 Blast.

He made an impressive debut in the televised One-Day Cup match with Yorkshire at Headingley, returning 2-34 in 10 overs.

That enabled Rhodes to become the third generation of his family to play first team cricket for a first class county after grandfather Billy and father Steve.

He also featured in another One-Day Cup match – the win over Durham at the Emirates ICG – plus the home T20 Blast triumph over Northamptonshire.

It is a reward for Rhodes' determined efforts to make himself into a genuine all-rounder and increase his first team prospects by enhancing his off-spin skills during the past 12 months.

Assistant-coach-bowling coach Matt Mason said: "It's been really great to see George develop nicely over the last couple of years, not only as a top order player but as a spin bowler as well and also we've been very impressed with his leadership qualities.

"Kevin Sharp (second eleven coach-batting coach) holds George in high regard, particularly with his captaincy and the way he has managed the guys in the Seconds.

"It is only right that he gets rewarded with this contract and it's great because it means another player that is part of this core of youngsters that we've got at the club has committed his future.

"We can keep building on what we hope will be a very strong team going forward.

"George has made his breakthrough into the first team. It was a great debut and he has probably been unlucky not to play much since but at least he has shown us he can make it at that level and feels at home at that level.

"I'm sure his opportunities will come thick and fast soon enough so great news for the club he has committed for the next couple of years."

Rhodes is happy to sign a new contract and admits he is eager to also taste County Championship cricket after his one-day breakthrough.

He said: "I'm absolutely delighted to sign the contract and, not only that, we've got a very close dressing room and we are very friendly. The youngsters are all a very tight knit group at Worcester.

"I'm obviously delighted to be playing with them for another couple of years and it is a great club and I can't wait to see it progress really.

"My bowling has developed and given me another string to my bow to help me get into the first team. I've had to progress that, and spend a bit more time with that, and thankfully it has gone well so far.

"But my batting is also something I pride myself upon and I get plenty of opportunities in the second team."

Rhodes added: My main aim really would be to be a core player in the squad in white ball cricket.

"But I'd love to play Championship cricket. It's something I almost feel is suited for me best.

"I've had to develop a lot of white ball skills but I just love any opportunity that comes my way, white ball, red ball. It doesn't really matter to me."