Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Mcclenaghan Set For Rapids Debut And “with Point To Prove”

Mcclenaghan Set For Rapids Debut And “with Point To Prove”

Mitchell McClenaghan has been included in a 15 strong Worcestershire Rapids squad for tomorrow evening's NatWest T20 Blast clash with Northamptonshire Steelbacks at Northampton.

The New Zealand paceman has replaced Saeed Ajmal as the club's overseas player for all forms of cricket during the next phase of the 2014 season.

He will link up against the Steelbacks with fellow Black Cap Colin Munro who is Worcestershire's T20 Blast overseas signing.

McClenaghan arrived in England on July 7 to start preparing for his spell at New Road. He enjoyed a successful spell in T20 cricket with Lancashire last season after impressing for his country in the ICC Trophy held in this country.

Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes said: "I think we've planned well. Mitch has been around now for 10 days so he's really fully acclimatised and raring to go.

"We've almost been having to hold him back with him not being able to play cricket and a hungry fast bowler is a really good thing.

"He has got his first game on Friday in a format he has excelled in and done really well. He did well for Lancashire last time he was over in T20.

"But added to that, he has got a real point to prove in four day cricket. He is desperate to get into that New Zealand Test side.

"He knows his four day performances are going to be crucial in New Zealand but also what he does here in four day cricket can prove to the selectors and coaches that he can play the longer format.

"I always like to get overseas players with a point to prove and Mitch has got a point to prove."

Joe Leach, who made a telling contribution with bat and ball in the LV = County Championship win over Leicestershire this week, is also named in the squad.

The Rapids currently lie in fourth spot in the North Group with two games remaining – with the top four securing a quarter-final spot.

The county will be looking to bounce back from successive defeats against Lancashire Lightning and Birmingham Bears in the competition.

Rhodes said: " We didn't play badly. I thought we batted extremely well in the defeats against Lancashire and Warwickshire, two good sides. We didn't quite nail it with the ball.

"I was quite happy we batted well enough and, if we can put all departments together on Friday night, then we should have a good result against Northants."

Worcestershire (from): Mitchell, Oliver, Kohler-Cadmore, Munro, Kervezee, Whiteley, Cox, Leach, D'Oliveira, Choudhry, Andrew, Morris, Shantry, McClenaghan, Russell.