Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Proud Rhodes And Mitchell To Watch Moeen Test Debut At Lord’s

Proud Rhodes And Mitchell To Watch Moeen Test Debut At Lord’s

Proud Worcestershire Director Of Cricket Steve Rhodes and captain Daryl Mitchell will be at Lord's to witness Moeen Ali's England Test debut against Sri Lanka tomorrow.

Rhodes and Mitchell are happily giving up a rare day off in the hectic recent schedule with the county to give their support to the Worcestershire all-rounder who will bat at number six and bowl his off-spin.

It was Rhodes who gave Moeen the opportunity to develop as a bowler after Gareth Batty departed from Worcestershire at the end of the 2009 season.

Rhodes said: "It's weird how it has worked out. We've got a day off tomorrow, a full day for the whole squad, and instead of catching up on the gardens and the lawns and all that sort of stuff, I've decided to go to Lord's.

"Why wouldn't you take this opportunity to watch one of our own players make his Test debut, a person we've spent a lot of time with and seen his progress as a player.

"Myself and Mitch, we want to see that, we want to go down and support him, and hopefully he will bat.

"But it will be a great opportunity to see the Test boys, to see how they prepare and play the game, and I'm looking forward to it."

Regarding the decision to entrust Moeen as the county spinner five years ago, Rhodes said: "I suppose it was a big decision but at the time it didn't seem a big decision to me.

"I knew we would have a period of working with him and that he was not going to be a great spin bowler straight away.

"We had a few ups and downs but he slowly, slowly improved and giving him that opportunity, that's what we have done at Worcester, and he has repaid us with a five year contract.

"He knows we gave him the opportunity when we might have gone elsewhere and he is a very fair man and he understands that and has repaid us with his performances.

"But to see him make his debut at Lord's that will be very special, and you are not going to miss him out there!

"I don't think he will be looking for us in the crowd but we might make some noise and try and make him notice us!"