Kashif Ali says his memorable knock against Yorkshire in his final County Championship innings of the season has given him great confidence for the 2024 season as he looks to establish himself in the Worcestershire side across all formats.
The middle order batter struck a superb 93 at Headingley and richly deserved a maiden first class hundred as he helped Worcestershire to reach 300 and clinch the two points needed to guarantee promotion.
Kashif made his mark in the Metro Bank One Day Cup, finishing as the leading six hitter in the tournament with 21 maximums, and also showed glimpses of his potential in the Vitality Blast.
But the game against the Tykes was only his fifth in red ball cricket and he is planning to work on his game this winter and be ready to stake a claim for a spot in April.
Kashif is again spending the winter playing club cricket and training in Pakistan.
He said: “The Yorkshire knock gave me great confidence. The first class game is a high standard, and all are very good cricketers, and I’m very pleased with the way I played that game.
“It gives me a lot of confidence going into games next year. The aim is to play all three formats, and try and do as well as I can.
“Red ball is a challenge but I wouldn’t say a massive difference. Obviously the quality goes up and you have to be on top of your game to do well consistently.
“High level cricket is always a challenge but, as a professional cricketer, it’s how you overcome that challenge and make yourself feel like you belong there.
“It’s all to do with how you approach a game and I think that’s very important. Mindset is a big thing because, in your head if you think it is too much of a task, then you will never do it.”
Kashif says his own approach does not alter greatly one format to another.
He said: “The mindset doesn’t change a lot because I feel like I play at my best when I play positive cricket.
“I feel especially with the four-day cricket, playing positively is a good thing, but not going reckless. Just showing good intent and not being reckless is how I feel I play at my best in four-day cricket.”
Kashif is determined to try and give himself the best chance to stake a claim for a spot in the middle order after the departure of Azhar Ali and Jack Haynes.
He said: “This winter when I’m away, I’m going to try and work on all formats. When I come back, hopefully I’ll be ready to go from ball one.
“I’m really looking forward to it, and there are opportunities to grab, and hopefully I’ll be ready to grab those opportunities.”
Like his team-mates, Kashif is ready to embrace the challenge of Division One cricket in the Championship.
Kashif, who will return to New Road in March, said: “For the club, it is a great achievement, and the year we’ve had in all three formats has been very good.
“With Division One, once again I feel it is a mindset thing. If we keep our mindset the way we had it in Division Two, I feel we will be absolutely fine.
“There are more than enough cricketers in our dressing room who are very talented, so hopefully we can do well.”