Thursday, April 13th, 2017

New Skipper Joe Outlines Ambitions For New Season

New Skipper Joe Outlines Ambitions For New Season

New Worcestershire skipper Joe Leach gave a positive response when asked what his main goals are for 2017 – "promotion and winning a white ball competition."

Leach will lead the County into Specsavers County Championship action for the first time since becoming official captain in tomorrow's (Friday's) clash with Glamorgan at the SWALEC Stadium.

And the 26-year-old says Worcestershire "need to be challenging and trying to win trophies."

The all-rounder has been a key member of the side since becoming a regular after the first quarter of the 2014 campaign.

Since then he has taken 157 Championship wickets – 33 in 12 games in 2014, 59 in 14 games in 2015 and 65 in 16 matches in 2016- in addition to scoring invaluable lower order runs.

But the club's Players' Player Of The Year for the past two years has his sights on team success.

He said: "Is the main goal this year promotion? Promotion and winning a white ball competition, definitely.

"I'm not going to sit here and say a quarter-final in the T20 is good enough or qualifying out of the group is good enough.

"Ultimately it is a results business. We need to be challenging and trying to win trophies. Anything less than that….we might sit here and say 'we've improved, we've done this and done that.'

"But the ultimate goal is to win trophies and get promoted. That's it as far as I'm concerned.

"It's pointless saying 'we've won one more game but we didn't get promoted' because that's not good enough.

"Have we got a strong enough squad to get promoted? Yes if we play well. If we do as well as we can, we will get promoted, simple as that."

Leach also has faith in what Worcestershire can achieve in white ball cricket if they play to their potential.

He said: "If we do as well as we can in T20 cricket, we will have a good chance of winning it because after five games last year, we were the most talked about team in the country and then the wheels fell off.

"Have we got a group strong enough to get to finals day and win it? Yes we have.

"It annoys me when people talk about 'it would be great to get to finals day' No, it would be great to win it. You don't want to get to finals day and lose.

"Being one of the best four teams in the county, isn't a motivation. Being the best team in the country is a motivation – and the same goes for the 50 over game.

"We made massive strides in the 50 over competition last season. To qualify for the first time in a long time some us claim some big scalps, but ultimately we need to win quarter-finals and knockout games of cricket.

"We have had three or four knockout games in the last three or four years (in either the T20 Blast or One-Day Cup). We need to win them, simple as that."