Thursday, February 10th, 2022


Alan Richardson has revealed the pride he felt at seeing first hand the match-winning performances and captaincy of Worcestershire Rapids Vitality Blast skipper Moeen Ali when on England T20I duty in the West Indies.

Worcestershire Assistant Coach Richardson was England’s Bowling Coach for the five game series in the Caribbean and he witnessed some superb contributions from Moeen who led his country for the final three matches in Bridgetown.

He counts himself fortunate to have seen Moeen evolve into the performer he is today, firstly as a bowler during four prolific seasons at New Road from 2010-2013 and latterly as part of the Worcestershire coaching set-up.

Richardson says having Moeen available for a sizeable chunk of this summer’s Blast – England commitments permitting – will excite members, supporters and players.

He said: “Mo had literally 20 minutes notice for the first game he captained but he just took it in his stride as he always does.

“The guys responded to him very well. He is very calm, gives the lads a lot of confidence and plays cricket in the right way.

“He really enjoyed those opportunities, and he played exceptionally well in a couple of games, and was a match winner for England.

“I was very proud to be part and parcel of watching that more than anything, to watch Mo go out and enjoy his cricket and play at such a high level.

“I was part of the Worcestershire side when he first captained in 2011 against Warwickshire at Edgbaston, and he has come a long way since there.

“He has experienced a lot now when it comes to cricket, experienced a lot of different kinds of leadership, and he has got his own way of doing it which is a really good way.”

Richardson witnessed Moeen hitting four successive sixes off Jason Holder in the fourth game to level the series.

He said: “It is amazing. I was watching some of the other guys, and Jason Roy and Liam Livingstone are real power hitters, and then you’ve got Mo next to them.

“He is a completely different physical specimen than those guys but the way he hits the ball, he creates incredible power the way he bats.

“It’s very classical way of doing it in terms of the technical side and timing and just to watch it is amazing

“You watch Mo in full flow, and it is very difficult to bowl at him and as player and as a coach, I’ve always been on the right side of it!

“Very lucky to have been part of Moeen’s journey so far as a team-mate and as a coach and just to watch how he has evolved as a cricketer is very special.”

Richardson added: “Does it whet the appetite for The Blast? “To have Mo around as much as possible, we know the quality he gives us with his performances.

“We look at overseas options if we haven’t got Mo and find me someone who can bat in the top three and bowl quality spin?

“He is one of a kind and not only to have him on the park, but just with the boys, the way they respond to him and the way he leads them is incredibly important to us.

“To have him for a period of time in the Blast excites the fans, members and players.”

Richardson was delighted to receive further international recognition after a spell working with England last summer and says it can only help him to evolve as a coach.

He said: “I’m still quite young in my coaching career and to have that opportunity, be in that environment, working with those coaches and the support staff and the players in an international environment, is a huge development for me.

“I see it as an opportunity for me to keep working at trying to get better at being a coach and to have that opportunity was amazing.

“I’d like to think I’m competent in my job, and I know what I’m doing, but I just want to keep getting better and keep exposing myself to different environments, speaking to different people.

“You need to spend time with other coaches, players and discuss, and you evolve as a person and as a coach.

“I didn’t play internationally but, to stand there when the national anthem was playing was very surreal in a beautiful part of the world.”

Richardson added: “How was it working with a different set of bowlers? Just really good. I had worked with George Garton and Saqib Mahmood on the Pace Programme before in previous years and had some good times.

“David Payne and Chris Jordan were part of the summer programme but Reece Topley and Tymal Mills were people I had not really spoken to before.

“Getting to know them and how they go about things, and learning off them really. These guys have played a lot of franchise cricket and bouncing ideas off them, listening to how they operate and the experiences they’ve had, was really invaluable.”