Thursday, May 19th, 2016

Rapids Name 14 Strong Squad For Opening T20 Blast Fixture

Rapids Name 14 Strong Squad For Opening T20 Blast Fixture

Worcestershire Rapids Director Of Cricket Steve Rhodes has named a 14 strong squad for this evening's opening NatWest T20 Blast encounter with Durham Jets at New Road (5.30pm start).

New Zealand duo Mitchell Santner and Matt Henry are poised to make their first T20 Blast appearances for the Rapids.

Santner was one of the stars of the recent ICC World T20 in India, finishing with 10 wickets as the Black Caps reached the semi-finals.

He warmed up for tonight's match by playing two T20 matches for the Seconds against Somerset Seconds at Taunton Vale on Monday.

Joe Clarke is set for his first ever innings in T20 Blast cricket.

The England Lions batsman made his only appearance to date in the competition in last season's quarter-final versus Hampshire but did not get to have a bat.

Clarke's Lions team-mate, Ross Whiteley, will be looking to repeat the kind of big hitting that was a feature of his performances last season.

He finished as the joint leading six hitter in the T20 Blast with 29 – a figure only equalled by Sussex's Luke Wright and Somerset's Chris Gayle.

The Rapids have been so close to sealing a first ever finals day spot in recent years but Rhodes stressed there is much hard work ahead if that goal is to be finally realised.

He said: "We are pleased we have been knocking on the door. We'd like to get there but first and foremost qualifying is the main thing for us to do and that will be hard work.

"It is always hard work. In these T20 games, anyone can beat anybody and so we don't have a right to be in the quarter-finals.

"We've got to earn that right and win some games and get some points on the board like we did last year. We are all starting on zero points.

"What is exciting is we have some attractive T20 players, not just our home talent like Clarkey, who could be a very exciting T20 player, Coxy, Brett and Mitch.

"But also we've got Pepsi (Tom Kohler-Cadmore) and the likes of Ross Whiteley who we brought in from another county (Derbyshire) who is one of the best T20 strikers of a ball.

"Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry and Kyle Abbott will also all play their part in what hopefully will be a good campaign for us."

Rapids (from):