Thursday, July 27th, 2017

Mason: Ross Capable Of Earning Another Shot At International Cricket

Mason: Ross Capable Of Earning Another Shot At International Cricket

Worcestershire assistant coach Matt Mason believes six-hitting star Ross Whiteley can earn another shot at international cricket if he continues to demonstrate the kind of explosive batting evident this week.

Whiteley was selected for the England Performance Squad in 2015-2016 and the England Lions T20 and 50 over series against Pakistan A in the UAE after his destructive form in white ball cricket for the Rapids the previous summer.

The former Derbyshire player, the joint highest NatWest T20 Blast six hitter in 2015 with 29 alongside Chris Gayle, hit a 30 ball half century in the second ODI but otherwise struggled to reproduce the form that had destroyed some attacks at county level.

Mason feels the best is still to come from Whiteley and there is no reason why the selectors won't again come knocking on his door if he keeps performing.

On Sunday the 28-year-old smashed six sixes in an over from Yorkshire Vikings spinner Karl Carver in the NatWest T20 Blast to become the first Englishman to achieve the feat in first team cricket in any competition.

Then he followed it up last night with another five boundary clearing shots in the win over Notts Outlaws at Trent Bridge.

Whiteley has been lifted into the top 10 of all time in T20 cricket in terms of the average number of sixes per innings.

Mason said: "This format really suits him because I doubt there is a cleaner hitter of the cricket ball.

"Ross keeps providing us with that entertainment, those big sixes, those big boundaries. He is very strong and is also a very good fielder so this format really suits him.

"England Lions saw that potential in white ball cricket. It didn't quite work out for him but that doesn't mean he can't do that again.

"He needs those kind of big scores and explosive innings and I'm sure the selectors will look at him again.

"They are the sort of players they are looking for in those international formats, those key players that can win you games from anywhere and that's why we love him in our side.

"Anything is possible when Ross goes out to bat. We can chase any total, we never feel out of a game. I'm not surprised to see him in that all-time list for the T20."

Mason also wouldn't be surprised if some of the T20 franchises around the world were attracted by Whiteley's hitting power.

He said: "Might some of the franchises be interested? It wouldn't surprise me. To do that, you have to head-line our competition, you need to get your name up in lights and to do that you need to show your destructive power.

"With some really terrific knocks in this competition, and fielding the way he can, then there is no reason why he couldn't be picked up by someone in any of those competitions around the world.

"I'm sure he'd love to do it and on his day, I doubt if there is a better ball striker. He just needs that consistency and big, big performances."

It was Director Of Cricket Steve Rhodes who spotted Whiteley's potential and brought him to New Road three and a half years ago.

Mason said: "We had played against him and seen his potential. I think he has grown as a cricketer in our club.

"I still think there is massive scope for improvement with Ross even at the age of 28 and I think he knows that.

"There are some pretty good signs from him this year in both formats. He just needs to keep working hard and I think Ross is a massive confidence player.

"He just needs to keep believing in his ability and remembering how good he actually is and I'm sure he will flourish and we will see some fantastic performances in both formats for years to come."