Friday, June 16th, 2017

Hastings Hoping To Make Amends For Disappointment Of Three Years Ago

Hastings Hoping To Make Amends For Disappointment Of Three Years Ago

John Hastings wants to help Worcestershire Rapids reach a Lord's final – and also make up for his own personal disappointment of three years ago.

Hastings was part of the Durham side which reached the final and overcame Warwickshire by three wickets to lift the trophy.

But he was forced to miss the showpiece occasion because of Champions League commitments with Chennai Super Kings.

They qualified after finishing third in the Indian Premier League and went onto win the Champions League, defeating Kolkata Knight Riders by three wickets in the final at Bangalore.

Now Hastings wants to finally experience a Lord's final as the Rapids prepare for tomorrow's home Royal London One-Day Cup clash with Surrey.

He has plenty of faith in the Rapids squad who will be competing in the County's 25th semi-final.

Hastings said: "I think they are really prepared and ready for something special and hopefully that can be a home semi-final win – and, if we can get to a Lord's final, that would be absolutely fantastic.

"The last time Durham did that in 2014 I missed the Lord's final and was absolutely devastated.

"I had to get off to the Champions League with Chennai. Unfortunately that contract superseded the one I had at Durham at the time.

"For me to get to a Lord's final, and stand on that balcony, would be amazing so hopefully that can happen."

Hastings helped the Rapids top the North Group and challenge strongly for promotion in the Specsavers County Championship before he joined Australia for the ICC Champions Trophy.

Now the popular but competitive 31-year-old is back at New Road and was embraced by his team-mates on his return to the squad yesterday.

Some of those victories have been by tight margins but Hastings said: "That builds a lot of character and gets a of belief in the side that we can win from any position.

"That's what I spoke about at the start of the year, trying to instill that confidence into the boys and just really believing in themselves because I do think there is an enormous amount of talent in this county.

"Now we are actually putting results on the board and winning big games of cricket. Moving forward, nothing really changes.

"We just keep backing ourselves, keep believing. The guys have grown up and matured a bit over the last few years."