Wednesday, April 3rd, 2024

HOLDER AND SMITH LINK UP WITH WORCESTERSHIRE FOR START OF NEW SEASON

Overseas signings Jason Holder and Nathan Smith have linked up with Worcestershire ahead of the 2024 season and had their first practice session at Kidderminster on Tuesday after meeting their new team-mates.

Smith flew into England on Easter Monday after a successful season back home in New Zealand where he finished as the leading wicket-taker in the Plunket Shield.

Holder landed from the West Indies on Tuesday morning after playing four-day cricket for Barbados and he and Smith linked up at Chester Road for some time in the nets.

Head Coach Alan Richardson said: “Jason arrived Tuesday morning from the West Indies and he has already practiced with us at Kidderminster.

“He was really keen to get out there and meet the players and the staff and that has been great.

“Nathan arrived on Monday and he also came to practice on Tuesday to stretch his legs after the flight.

“Trying to find overseas players is probably a lot harder than 20-30 years ago with franchise cricket and this year we’ve got the added complication of a T20 World Cup.

“Jason was really keen. He has been playing for Barbados and played quite a lot of four-day cricket recently.

“He was keen to continue and then going into the World Cup with the West Indies.

“With Nathan we had heard so many good things about him as a character and, with Jason, glowing references about how he is off the park as well.

“He has already talked a lot of cricket with the boys and got around the lads which I think is massively important for us.

“We were so fortunate the last couple of years with Azhar Ali, who has captained his country, and now with Jason we have got the same.”

Richardson is delighted with Worcestershire’s overseas acquisitions.

He said: “It feels like we’ve got a real nice mix. We’ve got Jason who has played a lot of cricket and travelled the world and captained his country, knows what it is all about and is just excited to get out there and play some cricket.

“We will hugely benefit from the wealth of experience he brings and with Nathan it is someone who is really eager and keen to get out there.

“He has not played first class cricket over here before but he sees it as a real part of his journey.”