Saturday, August 9th, 2014

Oliver Out To Make Most Of Chance At New Road After Considering Move Down Under

Oliver Out To Make Most Of Chance At New Road After Considering Move Down Under

Richard Oliver was considering emigrating to Australia before Worcestershire offered him the chance he always wanted to have a crack at making the grade as a professional cricketer at the age of 24.

The opening batsman seized the opportunity presented to him when an injury left the county a player short for the Second Eleven Trophy clash with Derbyshire at Alvaston in late April.

He was called up by the then temporary second eleven coach Kevin Sharp, who had been his coach at Shropshire, scored a 106 off 110 balls against Derbyshire Seconds and has not looked back.

Oliver was initially on a six week trial, earned a spot in the NatWest T20 Blast side, and did sufficiently well to be given a contract until the end of the 2015 campaign.

Then an unbeaten 292 for the Seconds against Warwickshire in a four-day friendly at Barnt Green persuaded Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes to give Oliver an opportunity in the LV = County Championship side.

The left hander has played in Australia for the past six years and this winter will again play for Geelong City from October 1 through to the end of February after a successful time last season.

When asked if he thought a county contract might never come his way, Oliver said: "A little bit. You always try and prepare yourself for the worse. I was looking at my options in Australia in particular for the future.

"I was toying with the idea of when I was going to go, emigrating, taking it a bit more seriously out there, having played cricket there for seven years now, four in Perth and three in Geelong.

"I was seriously thinking of going out there and making a proper go of a career outside of cricket."

Oliver admitted: "I was seeing a lot of people developing around me and getting opportunities and taking them.

"I was never really feeling like I was making any progress higher than Minor Counties and that was frustrating.

"But I certainly wasn't feeling disheartened by it because I've always been waiting for that right time, right place whether it was at 24, 26, 28.

"I don't think I would have liked to have left the UK before I had a crack (at cricket). Fortunately I had the opportunity to have a crack (a trial) here at Worcestershire.

"If it hadn't have worked out, then it wouldn't have worked out – but fortunately it has and hopefully I'll ride the wave for as long as I can.

"I've waited a long time for this experience and I'm enjoying it and want to make the most of it."

*Tune into the club website for more from Richard during the next few days.