Thursday, March 9th, 2017

New Captain Leach Says “we Are Here To Win Cricket Matches”

Joe Leach will have a straightforward message for the Worcestershire CCC squad when he addresses them for the first time since becoming official captain.

The crux of the all-rounder's words to the players at New Road will be "we are here to win cricket matches."

Of course, 26-year-old Leach will be going into more detail than that straight to the point statement as he prepares to fly out today for the pre-season camp in Abu Dhabi.

But he sees it as the most important factor as the County strive for success in Championship and white ball cricket in 2017.

He said: "I can't wait now. It's been a long winter, albeit one that has gone very quickly, but when you get announced (as captain) three days after the end of the season, it's a long time thinking and planning and running through your head 'what you are going to say.'

"I'm really excited just to be cracking on with it now and getting down to business. I just want to get out on the pitch and start playing cricket and winning games.

"Will I be nervous about my first address to the squad? I don't think so. I'm excited to do it, get it over and done with and crack on. I just want it to come and get out to Abu Dhabi and we can just crack on with the real thing.

"Everyone is a bit like that at the moment. The walls at Malvern College started off seeming like three football pitches wide and now it seems like a badminton court!

"I'm not overly nervous. It's not rocket science at the end of the day. We are here to win cricket matches and that's the only message I'm going to give really.

"It will be embellished a lot more than that and there is stuff I want to do and the direction I want to take the lads in but, at the end of the day, we are here to win cricket matches.

"We can talk as much as we want sat in the pavilion or out in Abu Dhabi but it doesn't make much difference.

"The only time it matters is April 14 when we start playing Glamorgan and we have to start winning games from then."

Leach has had time to settle into his new role during the past two months after a slight knee niggle cut short his winter stint with North Canberra Gungahlin.

He said: "It was purely down to injury that I came back. It was just a slight knee niggle and I was back in training in January and touchwood everything is okay. But I think it's really important that I have been around.

"I would have played a full season at North Canberra and would have enjoyed it but it did me good to come back here.

"The dust had settled on my appointment by the time I came back, I had the chance to get away from the environment as well.

"I've done a lot of stuff with Bumpy (Director Of Cricket Steve Rhodes) and the senior players that I wouldn't have been able to do if I was in Australia and, if I had come back this week, it would have felt very rushed.

"But instead I've had time to get my feet under the table to a certain extent while the whole squad haven't been here and that's been important as well.

"There has been talking, a lot of communication but also starting to get used to the role, what it means.

"There is a lot of extra stuff that I never would have thought about six months ago but now I am starting to learn what it means and hopefully that will stand me in good stead when the whole squad come back.

"I've been here with well over half of them now and they are probably used to the idea (of me being captain) so the guys coming back should slot in seamlessly."