Friday, June 3rd, 2016

Mitchell Aiming To Emulate Gloucs And Play In Lord’s Final

Worcestershire Rapids skipper Daryl Mitchell would dearly love to play in a Lord's final and says Gloucestershire's success in last season's Royal London One-Day Cup gives smaller counties hope of pulling off a Leicester City type triumph.

The Rapids launch their 2016 campaign in the competition on Sunday with a home group encounter against Derbyshire Falcons at the new start time of 11am – half an hour later than in previous years.

Mitchell admits the County have under-performed in one-day cricket for several years – a contrast to their fine form in the Natwest T20 Blast.

But he points to a powerful batting line-up and some attack-minded bowlers to give cause for optimism this summer and says the Rapids "should take a leaf out of England's book" and add some aggression to their game.

Mitchell said: "I think last year in particular we were fighting hard in Division One of the Championship and we did well in the T20 Blast and the One-Day Cup was a little bit of after the Lord Mayor's Show.

"But this year it is something we addressed pre-season. It is a competition we want to do well in.

"We have probably under-performed the last couple of seasons so, with it being played this time of the year, everything to play for still, the players still fresh, we will be looking to attack this competition full on.

"Why have we not done well? It is difficult. If you could put your finger on it that easily, we would probably have done a lot better already.

"Last year we had run out of steam a little bit. In previous seasons, we probably hadn't played well in one-day cricket since probably 2007 when we won the Pro-40 League.

"It is certainly something we will be looking to put right and hopefully we can keep our plans nice and simple, let the guys express themselves.

"We've got a powerful batting line-up, some attacking bowlers, so we just need to take a leaf out of England's book a little bit and add a bit more aggression to our game.

"Anytime England do well, county cricket tries to follow, tries to emulate. If they are playing inspirational cricket that people enjoy watching, that has a knock on effect in county cricket and even in grassroots.

"It has been great to watch the way England have played. It has certainly re-ignited life into the one-day game a little bit after it went a little bit stale."

Mitchell added: "I've been to a couple of Lord's finals watching and it would be fantastic to be a part of one and lead the guys out there.

"It is still the home of cricket, the best place I've ever played certainly. To play there in a final would be special.

"Gloucestershire showed last year what is possible with a good strong unit, good game plans, they performed well and beat everyone to lift the trophy which was great to see.

"It gives the smaller counties hope I suppose. A bit like the Leicester City of football. It gives everyone hope and belief that they can win these competitions and compete against the best sides with bigger budgets.

"It is something we will be looking to emulate."