Wednesday, April 5th, 2023


Jack Haynes is determined to “try and hit the ground running” this season and produce sizeable contributions with the bat on a regular basis for Worcestershire after a breakthrough 2022 campaign.

Haynes scored his maiden first class hundred against Durham and followed it with two more centuries and totalled 811 runs at an average of 47.70.

He benefitted immensely from batting alongside Azhar Ali and is delighted the Pakistan star has returned to New Road for a second season.

Haynes went on to make his England Lions debut during the winter tour of Sri Lanka and says he has come back a better player for the experience.

The 22-year-old admits he relishes practicing and constantly striving to improve his game as he prepares for Thursday’s LV=Insurance County Championship opener with Derbyshire at the Incora County Ground.

Haynes said: “I’m trying to work hard on my game all of the time, and I’m a bit of a perfectionist, and it can sometimes be my downfall, but I’m working hard for the season and trying to find a bit of a rhythm and fingers crossed for Thursday. 

“I get a bit of stick for batting long periods of time in the nets and not letting anyone else bat, but I’m not sure I’d have it any other way. 

“I’ve always wanted to be someone who wants to hit a lot of balls and sometimes needs to hit a lot of balls to find a lot of rhythm. I sometimes find it takes me a few games to get going 

“It’s something I’ve looked to try and improve and try and hit the ground running. That’s my aim this season. 

“I love the game, trying to improve and try and find ways to improve both technically and tactically. I think some of the coaches shoulders might not be thanking me too much this pre-season! They’ve flicked me a lot of balls, but hopefully, I’ll give them some results for the start of the season.”

It was a huge moment for Haynes when he completed his maiden Championship century and fittingly after a long partnership with Azhar.

He said: “I missed out a couple of times previously so it was nice to finally get that reward I suppose and then taking the confidence from that and going on to score another couple in quick succession.

“It also gives me a lot of confidence going into the season that if I do what I do well then I’ve got a decent chance of replicating that and making contributions for the team.

“That’s the aim this season, to become that consistent player and take responsibility and make those big contributions. That’s what I’m looking to do and hopefully I can do that over a long period of time and put some real good performances together.”

Alongside him will be Azhar, who retired from international cricket this winter after a superb career.

Haynes said: “He is brilliant. Look, he is a fantastic bloke to have around the changing room and has all that experience, so just to chat about all things is brilliant.

“But I love batting with him, and we have a good relationship and hopefully a few more partnerships this year. Really excited about that. 

“It gives you a boost when you are batting with someone of his quality. We seem to compliment each other well, have a lot of chats in the middle, and he keeps me going, keeps me concentrating, so it’s great to have him back. He is a massive boost to the side.”

Regarding his England Lions experiences, Haynes said: “I was really chuffed with how it went. I probably didn’t score as many runs as I would have liked. Maybe being a bit harsh on myself, but probably would have liked to get a big score. 

“Had a couple of opportunities in the Tests and a couple of starts in the 50 over competition where it would have been nice to go on and get a big one again.

“But I certainly learnt a lot about my game and a lot playing out in those conditions. It was an invaluable experience and certainly made me more hungry to push for those sort of trips further down the line.”

Haynes is concentrating on the present rather than thinking about aspirations to eventually play for England at senior level.

He said: “At the moment, it is one step at a time, starting on Thursday and trying to score as many runs as I can and win some games for Worcestershire and just see where that takes us.

“But I loved it out in Sri Lanka, a great bunch of lads, a real talented group, and you learn a lot just being around those sort of lads.

“Great to have Josh (Tongue) there with me, and we both had a great time and came back better players than when we went out there, which is the main thing.

“It is different conditions out there compared to back here in April, and that has taken a little bit of adjusting to, but I think we are getting there.”