Saturday, August 13th, 2022


Ed Pollock is in contention to return to the Worcestershire Rapids side for tomorrow’s Royal London Cup encounter with Derbyshire Falcons at New Road.

Pollock was not selected for Wednesday’s tie with Lancashire Lightning at Emirates Old Trafford, with Taylor Cornall promoted up the order to open the innings alongside Azhar Ali.

But there is a vacancy in the middle order with the latest injury setback for Worcestershire after Kashif Ali broke his thumb when fielding.

Assistant Coach Alan Richardson hopes Pollock can produce the kind of innings in white ball cricket he has sometimes shown in the LV=Insurance County Championship, including centuries against Leicestershire and Middlesex.

He said: “Ed is in contention to come back into the side. He has done really well in red ball cricket, which has been great.

“He has had his opportunity in that and played a couple of really good knocks us, but in white ball cricket, it probably hasn’t gone as well as he would have liked.

“We talked about it when he wasn’t selected for the game against Lancashire and said there is the chance for another opportunity.

“It has come around with Kashif Ali’s unfortunate injury, and if it comes for him, hopefully, it is one he will take. Will he play in the middle order? We will see, and we might look at that.”

Richardson believes Kashif will kick on as a professional cricket once he recovers from his injury after a fine start at New Road in white and red ball cricket.

He said: “He has been fabulous, and he has been on a hot streak. He has worked unbelievably hard since he’s been on the scene, and that has not changed since he joined us.

“Kashif has shown that he can adapt to lots of different situations, and in white ball cricket, where we first recognised him, he has done extremely well.

“He is growing into it more and more after being quite nervous when he started the T20 campaign.

“He will flourish as a cricketer now, and it’s just really unfortunate he picked up that injury. His innings at Old Trafford was again fantastic and got us somewhere near a par score.”

Richardson is looking for Worcestershire to fire on all cylinders in all departments and bounce back from their current run of results.

He said: “We are playing some good cricket at times but just not for long enough. We are not doing enough to win a game of 50 over cricket.

“We need that to all gel together. It is tough when you are probably a little bit down on confidence in white ball cricket, but we have to be bigger and better than that.

“We have to be strong enough to put our heads above the parapet to say we are going to try and win a game of cricket.

“We batted really well against Kent, bowled really well against Hampshire. We weren’t quite at the races enough in the last two games.

“We need to try and put together the performance, which will give us a chance to win the game.”

Regarding the meeting with Derbyshire, Richardson said: “It is an opposition we play a lot against, and we are getting to know them really well.

“We played two really good games of cricket against them in the four-dayers. Unfortunately, we didn’t come out the side we wanted in the last four-dayer.

“They have shown they are a strong side. We are all missing players through either call-ups or injuries. They look like they are playing some good cricket in the 50-over competition, so it will be a good opportunity for us to pit ourselves against them.”

Worcestershire have named the squad as for against Lancashire minus Kashif Ali.

Richardson said the Rapids are constantly checking on the fitness of knee injury victim, left-arm pace bowler Ben Gibbon.

He said: “Ben Gibbon is the one we are keep monitoring with his knee. It looks a bit of a mess at the moment, but he is desperate to play, so we will see how he pulls up in the next couple of days.”