Saturday, October 29th, 2022


Kadeer Ali says Worcestershire’s promising youngsters should take inspiration from the group of players who forced their way into the first team this summer after impressing in the Seconds.

Gareth Roderick and newcomers Ben Gibbon, Taylor Cornall and Kashif Ali all made a big impact during the initial part of the campaign for the Seconds.

It led to them all going on to enjoy playing significant chunks of senior cricket.

Roderick hit back-to-back centuries in the LV=County Championship against Glamorgan and Nottinghamshire, and left-armer Gibbon showed great promise during his seven Championship appearances.

Batter Cornall also played seven Championship games and made some sizeable scores in the Royal London Cup, and Kashif showed his exciting potential with the bat in slices of action across all three formats.

Seconds Coach Kadeer said: “The senior lads who started in the Seconds, it was great to see them get their runs and wickets and push for the first team.

“Ben Gibbon and Gareth Roderick have been superb. First and foremost, the attitude they showed in the second team was top-class.

“Gareth led from the front and was a really good example to the younger pros, the Academy lads, showing what a pro cricketer should be really like.

“It was brilliant to see him then go back into the first team and do so well and get a couple of great hundreds. Full credit to him.

“Ben Gibbon bowled beautifully in the Seconds to start off with, and I was really pleased he got an opportunity at the back end of the year.

“You saw the hunger and determination when he played in a couple of trial games and the way he ran in and bowled for long spells.

“It was brilliant to see him do so well and put some decent performances under his belt, and he got 12 wickets in a game at Stourport.

“He is getting better and better. He still has got plenty to learn, but it is great to see him with the new ball in games at the end of the season, and he is showing some good signs.

“Taylor scored a lot of runs in the second team, had a spell where he got four or five hundreds, and it was pleasing to see him get an opportunity and a taste of Championship cricket and the Royal London Cup in which he did pretty well.

“Great for him and someone like Kashif Ali as well. He has come in and scored a load of runs.

“He was outstanding in the Seconds and made his first team debut and also showed glimpses of his talent in the Blast.

“You are always under pressure when you are trialling. The way he performed under pressure, the way he batted for long periods, the way his game is set up, and the way he hits the ball through the covers has been outstanding.

“He has done exactly what he needed to do. Shame about his thumb injury, but he was showing some good signs in the level above the Seconds. He showed he could perform really well.”

Kadeer added: “Do they give encouragement to the younger lads? It acts as an inspiration to the youngsters who want to get into the first team, and since I’ve been here, there have been some really good examples of that.

“Last year, Jack Haynes started in the second team and did really well and got into the first team. It is great and how it should be.

“One thing I keep encouraging lads to do is that if you get into the second team, you make it count and get some big scores.”

Kadeer says there was plenty of encouragement to be taken from
Worcestershire’s performances at second team level and they again finished in the top half of the County Championship.

He said: “It’s been a really good season, the way the lads have played in a positive manner and how we have approached games.

“We’ve tried to play games in the right way and always looking to win. Whether we had a big score to chase or whatever, we were always looking to be positive.

“I think we’ve scored 13 hundreds in the Seconds this year, and that is exactly what I want to see. We had ten last year as well from fewer games.

“We want to have the lads batting for long periods because that’s exactly what you need to do in the first team, occupy the crease, place a value on your wicket, and show some really good strengths in terms of playing spin and pace.

“We have seen some really good signs from the young batters, and long may that continue.”