Wednesday, August 11th, 2021


Jake Libby says Worcestershire CCC’s players will be preparing for “a big September” as they aim to finish the season on a high with some impressive performances in the LV=Insurance County Championship and start building towards 2022.

Batsman Libby and the squad will be looking to regroup and bounce back from the disappointment of not qualifying for the knockout stages of the Royal London Cup.

The opener believes it will be an opportunity to start building for next summer, and he is excited by the signing of Matthew Wade to bolster the Worcestershire batting line-up.

Libby said: “Goals for the rest of the season? We’ve got to have the target of trying to win our group in the County Championship.

“That’s where we are, and we’ve got to build towards next season. I know the boys will be raring to go.

“It is going to be a big September for us. We’ve got to move forward with our cricket and, with the red ball, we’ve got to build for next season, and it is going to a big statement in September.”

Libby is looking forward to the arrival next summer of Australian international Wade.

He said: “It is exciting, to be honest. He is a hell of a cricketer and, the way he plays his cricket will be great for us as a group.

“Really looking forward to playing with him, and it is a great signing. He is going to add a lot with the bat and also in the changing room.”

Libby has been impressed with how spinner Josh Baker and all-rounder Jacques Banton have adapted to the first team after being given their chance in the Royal London Cup.

He said: “That’s what this competition is about a little bit. We’ve seen some really good players, Josh (Baker), Jacques (Banton) and Jack (Haynes) at the top of the order, have been outstanding.

“They will take positives from it. It’s been a good learning curve for them, and we will take that forward as a group.

“In Josh and Jacques, it is pleasing to see two young lads come through, out of nowhere a little bit.

“They didn’t look out of place at all and were two key members by the end of the competition with bat and ball.

“Going forward, they’ve shown they can play at this level, and it can only give us more depth. I think it is what we need, and I’m really optimistic for their futures.”

In terms of the Rapids Royal London Cup campaign, Libby said: “We started the competition so well, and it’s really disappointing the way things have worked out towards the back end.

“We just haven’t played great cricket. We haven’t been a million miles off. We haven’t played really poor cricket but have been 10-20 per cent off it with bat and ball, if we are honest.

“That is why we are missing out on this quarter-final spot. The loss against Sussex here was really tough to take. On reflection, it hurt us a lot.

“We are going to have to review the tournament a little bit and see where we went wrong, but there are certainly very disappointed lads in the dressing room.”