Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

Question And Answer Session With George Rhodes Part Two

Question And Answer Session With George Rhodes Part Two

Academy product George Rhodes is this week making his Specsavers County Championship debut for Worcestershire against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road.

Here is part two of a recent Question And Answer session with the all-rounder who recently signed a new two year contract.

Question: What does it feel like to be part of a side regularly containing so many players who have come through the Academy?

George Rhodes: "It's brilliant. It just shows how much work goes on behind the scenes with the youngsters.

"Damian D'Oliveira, as everyone knows around Worcester, was fantastic with the Academy and he helped me tremendously throughout my development.

"Kevin Sharp with the second team has been doing exactly the same thing. We've got a very young second team but exciting players coming through and that's one thing which is quite special about Worcester, the production of young players and how much work they put in to develop players."

Question: Did you always want to be a cricketer or was it thrust upon you because of who your dad was?

George Rhodes: "I obviously came down to New Road to watch my dad a lot and, as kids do, they try and follow in the footsteps of their dad when they are very young.

"I was always interested in cricket and loved it. I actually wanted to be a wicket-keeper and used to get told off for nicking my dad's gloves and trying to practice keeping.

"I've always loved cricket so whether that is because of my dad or not, I'm not sure but it definitely helped."

Question: How much cricket did you play at the Chase School?

George Rhodes: "It wasn't too strong on cricket but they've got a very good PE teacher there who does really enjoy cricket and he helped me as well.

"If I had training commitments or second team games, he really did fight my cause at the school and was very supportive.

"But yes, it's when you are 11, 12, 13, that you do get serious about cricket."

Question, Given your age, is it fair to say the Ashes 2005 helped get you interested?

George Rhodes: "Yes it is. It was an amazing series as it was for most young cricketers in England.

"It did give you a goal to achieve, I guess, or something to look up to."

Question: Who were your cricketing heroes?

George Rhodes: "I didn't really have any heroes to be honest. I don't like modelling myself on anyone else but in most recent times it would be Moeen and the way he has come through and the way he has developed from being a very talented player to a smart cricketer.

"He can bowl very well, and bat very well, and obviously bowls off spin as well. That was the second string to his bowl originally, a little bit like me.

"I would say I look up to Moeen in recent times."

Question: Who has been biggest help at New Road recently?

George Rhodes: "Norman Gifford and Kevin Sharp have been excellent. Giff is really good. He comes down when we are training and he does talk to the spinners very well.

"He has got an amazing competitive game awareness which obviously comes from the experience he has got. He has bowled thousands and thousands of overs and has thousands of wickets.

"He is really good to talk to about that competitive side of spin bowling.

"With spin bowling, it helps to be competitive because it is such a slow skill. It is very easy to the other way.

"But if you have got that 'just go for it' attitude that Giff has got and that competitive attitude it helps. "Then Kevin Sharp is a very good people's person in terms of development. Those two have helped tremendously."

Question: Has being second team captain helped you think more about the game?

George Rhodes: "Absolutely. With the young squad we've got, someone has got to do it and I've done quite a bit of captaining. I've had a bit of experience in the academy and the younger age groups.

"I was glad to have that opportunity and I've really enjoyed it to be honest. We've had some mixed success so far in the second team but we are, like I said, quite a young raw talent so I think we will get there eventually."