Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Mason: Bumpy Faith In Youth Can Only Benefit County And England

Mason: Bumpy Faith In Youth Can Only Benefit County And England

Assistant coach Matt Mason believes Worcestershire Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes is setting the example for other coaches and counties to follow in giving youth the chance to develop – an approach which will benefit the club and England.

Rhodes has often fielded seven or eight Academy products in the first team this season in addition to the likes of Moeen Ali and Alexei Kervezee who joined the county at an early age.

Moeen is now established in the England side while the likes of Tom Fell, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Ben Cox, Jack Shantry, Joe Leach and Charlie Morris are benefitting from being given an opportunity at New Road. 

They have blended with experienced heads like skipper Daryl Mitchell – another Academy product – and the overseas players such as Saeed Ajmal, Colin Munro and Mitchell McClenaghan.

Mason said: "Rather than going down the quick fix option of bringing in players, Steve has always shown a lot of faith in our Academy, our second eleven, and will give guys opportunities in the first team.

"I think other coaches and counties should take a leaf out of Bumpy's (Rhodes's) book because that has got to be good for English cricket team as well.

"We are all here to produce young cricketers for England and I think Bumps is leading the way in that."

Mason, who is also the county's bowling coach, added: "Bumpy, as he has done with all the players at Worcester over the years, has stuck to his guns and he gave Moeen an opportunity as a bowler when Gareth Batty left.

"Moeen is not the only one to benefit because in recent times the likes of Tom Fell and Tom Kohler-Cadmore have been lucky to have his full support.

"Bump has always been resilient even when he has had criticism which has often been unfair. He has stuck by his players and he gets the rewards now with the likes of Moeen playing Test cricket now and doing well.

"Personally I'm very pleased for Bump and I hope a lot of people start to give him the credit he has thoroughly deserved.

"Bumps is one of the most determined and professional guys I have ever met.

"He is so passionate about Worcestershire that he is determined that these young players are going to come through and have good careers and form a really good core at this club to bring success down the line."