Thursday, May 23rd, 2024

Squad & preview: Worcestershire vs Nottinghamshire

Head Coach Alan Richardson said it will be “huge” for the Worcestershire players to be back playing at Visit Worcestershire New Road when they take on Nottinghamshire in the Vitality County Championship match beginning on Friday (11am start).

Richardson said the squad are determined to produce as good a performance as possible for members who have had to travel to Kidderminster for the opening two home games with Durham and Somerset because of the flood-hit winter.

Worcestershire will be returning to action at their headquarters for the first time since the drawn match with Durham last September.

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Richardson said: “It’s going to be huge for us to be back. I might be very biased but I believe it to be a special place.

“It’s steeped in a lot of history, it’s our home, we are very proud to represent Worcestershire wherever we play, but the opportunity to finally be at Visit Worcestershire New Road is such a huge thing for us.

“It is so exciting to be able to finally do it and it seems as if we have been away for a long time.

“We know that Notts are a really good side and had some good results this year as invariably are all the sides in Division One.

“You don’t look down any of the teams and think they are easy fixtures.

“This will be a tough one again but being at home, our first one at New Road, it will be nice to put on as good a performance as possible for the members who have waited so patiently for us to be back there.”

Richardson is full of praise for everyone at the club who has worked tirelessly to ensure cricket can return to New Road.

He said: “I think everyone at the  club should be extremely proud with the condition of the venue now but none more so than Stephen Manfield (Lead Groundsperson) and his team.

“It’s been absolutely heroic in their effort. The amount of time, love and attention they have given the ground, whilst also trying to give us surfaces and doing unbelievably well at Kidderminster, has been a huge effort.

“New Road looks amazing and certainly during the Central Sparks game there earlier this week, with the sun beating down, it looked the amazing venue we know it is.

Only seven points separate fourth and eighth spot in the table.

Richardson said: “Whilst we are disappointed to be eighth, because I think our performances deserve a bit more, it is still incredibly tight.

“There have not there been that many positive results in the games in this division so far. We have played on some really good wickets and so any kind of result tends to make a real shift one way or the other in the table..

“We will be looking to put another good performance together and try and gives ourselves an opportunity to win a game, and that would certainly help in terms of getting ahead of a few sides.”

Richardson was pleased with the debut performance by pace bowler Yadvinder Singh against Surrey at The Kia Oval when he picked up four wickets, with England opening duo Dom Sibley and Rory Burns his first two scalps.

He said: “In terms of debuts, it probably doesn’t get that much bigger does it, one of the big Test venues against the best side in the country in terms of what they’ve done over the last couple of years and again this year.

“Incredibly tough for him but, if you are going to do it, you are going to learn so much, just what he needed to do to perform in that game, watching other players operate in the side and the opposition.

“We couldn’t take the smile off his face for the three days we were there which was really great to see. I think having conversations with him, he really enjoyed it and the higher standard you play, the more and more you learn.

“Any chink in the armour gets exposed a little bit but also it probably makes you believe even more so in your own strengths and what you do well.

“Yadvinder got better and better as the game went on, played with great spirit and great heart throughout and it was lovely to see.

“It is always exciting to see anyone make their debut but especially for Worcestershire. It’s a special club to play for and he held himself together really well.

“Certainly in the second innings he made some valuable contributions and, for his first wicket to be Dom Sibley and his second to be Rory Burns, two England openers, was special.

“He had put together some good performances in the Seconds and put himself in that position that, if anything happened that meant there was a place available, he gave himself a real chance and he should take a lot of credit for that.”

Worcestershire have announced a 13 strong squad to face Nottinghamshire with pace bowler Adam Finch back in contention after illness but batter Kashif Ali is taking a short break from cricket.

Worcestershire Squad
2 Jake Libby
6 Matthew Waite
7 Ed Pollock
8 Yadvinder Singh
9 Gareth Roderick (w)
15 Brett D’Oliveira (c)
20 Nathan Smith
21 Ben Gibbon
23 Joe Leach
54 Adam Hose
61 Adam Finch
77 Ethan Brookes
88 Rob Jones