Wednesday, April 12th, 2023


Worcestershire Head Coach Alan Richardson believes Matthew Waite has the potential to fill many roles and eventually bat in the top six and is the latest “young, ambitious, hungry cricketer” keen to make his mark at New Road.

Waite produced a superb all-round performance in his first game since joining Worcestershire on a permanent basis, scoring a maiden century and taking five wickets in the fine victory over Derbyshire at the Incora County Ground.

He follows the recent recruitment of Jake Libby, Ed Pollock and Adam Hose as players Richardson believes are “good cricketers who will be even better cricketers” through having greater opportunities to play.

Richardson said: “Can he develop into a genuine all-rounder? Matthew can do whatever he wants if I’m honest. Last year he played for Yorkshire as a batter who bowled a little bit and he batted at number five.

“For us, at Derby he batted at eight but Matthew has that potential to be a really important part of the squad where he can fill many roles, where he can bat in the top six hopefully as time goes on and become part of a really strong bowling attack.

“He hasn’t had much opportunity at Yorkshire so, for him to have those opportunities with us, we will see him put in consistently good performances for us.

“I think the ceiling for Matthew is really high and he should be really excited about what he can do over the next couple of seasons.”

Libby (2020), Pollock (2022) and Hose and Waite (2023) have all helped Worcestershire to become a squad with far greater depth. 

Richardson said: “We like to promote our own players but we also like to look at those players at other counties who potentially haven’t had those opportunities, who we think are good cricketers and will be even better cricketers.

“We’ve got Ed Pollock, we’ve got Adam Hose, Jake Libby….and Matthew Waite will be part of that group as well who are young, ambitious, hungry cricketers who want to do really well and want to have a platform to show off what they can do.”

At the other end of his career, Azhar Ali again showed his immense value to Worcestershire by making 62 in a match winning stand with Libby against Derbyshire.

Richardson said: “We talk about it a lot but the influence Azhar has not only on the pitch but off the pitch is huge.

“He fits seamlessly into the squad, the boys love having him around and he has such a huge influence on that.

“We had a tricky little chase at Derby and to have someone as experienced and as calm as Azhar was fantastic to have around.”