Matthew Waite is looking to “really progress” with his career and develop into a genuine all-rounder during the next three years with Worcestershire.
Waite enjoyed two successful loan spells with Worcestershire last summer, including an LV=Insurance County Championship best of 4-35 in the home win over versus Leicestershire.
He picked up another four wickets in the innings victory over Division Two champions Nottinghamshire at New Road.
He settled into the side and dressing room and was delighted to sign for Worcestershire permanently until the end of the 2025 season after leaving Yorkshire.
Waite is also keen to develop his potential as a batter – at times, he batted at number five for the Tykes in first class cricket – and become a force in both facets of the game.
He wants to kick on with his career in the years 27 to 30 and is currently in South Africa for six weeks of warm weather training.
Waite said: “It has gone very well so far. The lads have been really welcoming, as I found last year in the summer. I have settled in quite well.
“The fact I had a loan spell here helped me to settle in. I really enjoyed those games, and hopefully, we can build on what we did last year as well.
“We had two wins, one against Nottinghamshire, which was a big win, and they were both three-day wins as well.
“I really enjoyed, and I always wanted to come to Worcestershire after that spell I had with them.”
Waite added: “Is this a big opportunity to kick on with my career? Definitely. It’s been a bit stop-start with injuries and stuff over the years.
“But hopefully, over these next few years, I can progress and help the team.
“I was really pleased to sign a three-year deal, and hopefully we can do something really special in that period and beyond.
“First of all, I want to try and establish myself in the team and then try and be as successful as I can.
“I loved it at Yorkshire, but I felt that it was a good time to move on.”
The Leeds-born player is excited about what the Worcestershire squad is capable of achieving.
He said: “This squad at Worcestershire has got a lot of potential. I’m very impressed with the players we’ve got here, and a lot of them are young and very hungry.
“It’s exciting to see what we can do next year.
“There is a lot of competition in the squad. It just pushes people on, makes them work harder, and you’ve got to perform to get picked, so it is only a good thing.
“Can the squad challenge for promotion? Definitely. I truly believe we can this summer, and a lot of the lads believe that as well.
“There has been a bit of talk in the changing room about it, and when you really believe, that goes a long way to doing it as well.”
Waite is keen to show his qualities with the bat can go alongside his abilities with the ball.
He said: “I think I can become a genuine all-rounder. I’ve probably succeeded more with the ball so far in first class cricket.
“I don’t think I’ve really shown what I can do with the bat yet.
“But last year, at times, I was batting at five for Yorkshire, and I think there is a lot more to come from my batting, and hopefully, I can show that.
“I’ve been working on that for the last few weeks. I see myself as a genuine all-rounder. I just need to show it, really.”
Waite followed in the footsteps of his father in playing for Leeds club Methley CC before graduating to the Yorkshire pathway from Under-11s onwards and eventually into the Academy, Seconds and first team.
Like many players of his age, it was the 2005 Ashes Series that helped inspire Waite.
He said: “What were my influences when growing up? When I first started, it was probably the 2005 Ashes when Andrew Flintoff had a really great series.
“It was an incredible series, and that really grabbed my attention.”