Wednesday, January 5th, 2022


Worcestershire Rapids Vitality Blast captain Moeen Ali needed to watch only a couple of deliveries from spinner, Josh Baker, to recognise his potential.

Moeen saw Baker for the first time last summer when playing in a Second Eleven T20 match against Warwickshire at Barnt Green in preparation for the Blast.

He made an instant impression on the England all-rounder.

It was quickly confirmed with Baker’s elevation to the Worcestershire senior side for the second half of the 2021 campaign and then the England Under-19 squad.

On Monday, he flew out with the Under-19s as a travelling reserve to prepare for the ICC Under-19 World Cup in the West Indies.

Worcestershire Seconds Coach, Kadeer Ali, said: “Mo has been at the highest level for a long time now and, with playing in T20 leagues all around the world, he sees a lot of cricketers..

“He saw Josh bowl two or three balls in the warm-up at Barnt Green and was quickly impressed.

“Mo came up to me straight away and said ‘this kid is going to be really good’ and that ‘this kid has got something’ which was encouraging to hear.

“He has been brilliant. I’d seen little bits and pieces of him in practice sessions when he had a bowl at the guys.

“He really stood out for me in that first game at Barnt Green when we played Warwickshire in the Second Eleven T20s when Mo saw him.

“His composure, the pace he bowls at, the length he bowls at is immaculate.

“It didn’t really surprise me how well he bowled last year. His character, the way he is as a person, has all the attributes to do well at the next level.

“He has shown glimpses already, but he has got to keep working hard and keep training hard and have the right attitude – which he has.

“He was on the Academy early season, and that gives a lot of hope to the Academy lads, how quickly things can turn and develop if they work hard and do well.”