Wednesday, April 10th, 2024


Jake Libby says Nathan Smith’s knowledge on playing regularly with a Kookaburra ball has proved invaluable for the other Worcestershire bowlers during the opening phase of the season.

The New Zealand all-rounder gave a masterclass in how to bowl with the Kookaburra in the first innings of the Vitality County Championship match with Warwickshire at Edgbaston.

He finished with 3-49 from 21 overs and could easily have picked up several more wickets.

But the info Smith has passed onto his team-mates about the Kookaburra ball has also proved invaluable, with it also in use for the second Championship game against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge starting on Friday.

Red ball vice-captain Libby said: “We are really excited about Nathan as a signing. He bowled tremendously well in the Warwickshire game and had a fantastic summer in New Zealand.

“We’re really excited to have him all season, which is a massive bonus these days with overseas players, and I think he is going to be fantastic for us.

“He has done all his bowling with a Kookaburra and given the bowlers great advice on how to go about it, adding some different plans and theories to what we have.

“That’s been really good for us and I think he is going to be chomping at the bit to have a go with the Duke ball as well after these first two games.”

Libby was delighted with the way Worcestershire performed at Edgbaston with bat and ball in securing 14 points.

He said: “We talked before the game about making a mark on Division One. We’ve got real strong belief in the group that we are good enough to compete in this league.

“I think the way we played at Edgbaston was quite impressive and we’ve shown we are going to be a really tough side to beat this year.

“We also want to win games and that’s still our aim, to play positively and win games of cricket.

“I think we’ve got the right group to do that with bat and ball. We made a good mark in the first game and it was nice to come up the road to Birmingham and do that.”