Thursday, June 1st, 2023


Mitchell Santner is set to make the first appearance of his third spell with Worcestershire Rapids in tomorrow evening’s Vitality Blast North Group encounter with Notts Outlaws at Trent Bridge.

The New Zealand all-rounder has had his first training session with the Rapids after being part of the Chennai Super Kings squad, which won the Indian Premier League.

Santner replaces leg spinner Usama Mir in a 14-strong squad, with the Pakistan leg spinner having made a big impression with bat and ball in his three games.

Head Coach Alan Richardson said: “Usama has been fantastic. We knew we had got someone who had just broken into the international game but had made an impact in the Pakistan Super League and in domestic cricket in Pakistan.

“He was someone we were excited to see because he obviously added a bit of mystery with his bowling and was a real attacking threat for us with the ball, and we knew he could strike it with the bat.

“Considering he only played three games, he had an amazing impact and had a positive impact in getting us results in all three games, which is a phenomenal effort because we know how volatile the game of T20 cricket can be.

“Is Usama one to look at in the future? I’d like to think so. Who knows where it will go, but for us, we enjoyed having him with us, and it seems he really enjoyed being around the guys and being part of the club. It is certainly something we’d love to continue.

“With Mitch, we were really excited when we signed him over the winter, and it was fantastic for him to be part of that IPL-winning experience.

“But we always knew he would be with us once that tournament had finished. He has had his first training session with the boys, and he is a class act in all three facets of the game.

“Usama had that impact, and I’m sure Mitchell will be looking to have a similar one with us.”

The Rapids will be looking to continue their 100 per cent winning start in the tournament.

Richardson said: “Results-wise, absolutely perfect, and it’s really nice for the boys to have that confidence and belief and a little bit of momentum.

“But we know it’s a 14-game season, and the competition goes pretty quickly. We know we will have those ups and downs, but at the moment, the performances have matched the outcome, which is great.

“As long as we continue trying to do the right things, we will give ourselves chances to win games of cricket.

“Everyone is chipping in, and that’s important. We talk about it quite a bit about guys being match-winners for us, and the more of those we have on the field, the better, but we also know not everyone is going to be able to contribute in the same game.

“It’s only a 240 ball game, so your opportunities at times are slim, but you have to try and take those, and we’ve had some nice little cameos with the ball and bat throughout, plus some stellar performances.

“Kashif Ali here with the bat against Leicestershire was fantastic, and Hosey (Adam Hose) at Northampton. 

“But Ed Pollock’s little cameo against Northampton and Usama a couple of times with the bat were also important, and with the ball, we’ve bowled pretty well as a unit throughout.”