Kadeer Ali says a fit and firing Pat Brown makes a “big difference” to the Worcestershire Rapids side, who will be looking to maintain their flying start to the 2023 Vitality Blast against Leicestershire Foxes at New Road tomorrow (2.30pm start).
Brown reached the 75-wicket mark in T20 cricket for Worcestershire with his 3-28 in the thrilling home win over Northamptonshire on Friday evening.
Only Daryl Mitchell (101), Jack Shantry (92) and Moeen Ali (82) have taken more T20 wickets for Worcestershire.
The hero of the 2018 Blast triumph with 31 scalps has been the Rapids leading wicket-taker in the competition on three occasions.
He spent the winter playing T20 cricket in the Atalanta Open and Nepal T20 before a spell with St. Augustine’s in South Africa.
Brown then impressed and showed his fitness with seven wickets in the Seconds Championship win over Derbyshire at Repton School in the build-up to the Blast.
Kadeer Ali said: “I’m so pleased for Pat. He bowled beautifully on Friday and picked up wickets at crucial times.
“He got a couple of good wickets with his slower balls, which is nice to see.
“He is full of confidence, and when he is bowling well, it makes a really big difference to our side.
“Browny is a wholehearted cricketer. We know that. You look at him in the field, and he is sweeping both sides and sprinting around. He is brilliant.
“The poor guy, every time the season starts, in recent times, he has a few niggles, and for him to get in the overs, he has pre-season and to have a good winter, and staying fit has made a big difference.
“You can see now he is running in, and it makes a big difference with any bowler in the world if you get a pre-season behind them.”
Friday’s six-hitting hero, Adam Finch, echoed Kadeer’s sentiments.
He said: “He is class, and class is permanent, and he leads our attack so well. Our leading wicket-taker in the Blast last year, and his knowledge and experience is just top-drawer for someone of his age.
“I think the lads would agree with me and say he is one of the strongest mentally.
“He is so open about he is feeling and a real positive influence on the group, not only from a cricketing perspective but from a general life perspective as well.
“It is just ace to see him going really well.”
The Rapids have made one change to their 14-strong squad, with Ben Gibbon replacing fellow pace bowler Mitchell Stanley.