Thursday, May 18th, 2017

Worcs Praised For Home Grown Approach After Sealing Semi-Final Spot

Worcs Praised For Home Grown Approach After Sealing Semi-Final Spot

Worcestershire have earned glowing praise from the media for reaching the semi-finals of the Royal London One-Day Cup – and for achieving it predominantly with home grown talent.

The County fielded nine players that have come through the New Road ranks in defeating Derbyshire on Tuesday to seal top spot in the North Group.

It has secured a money-spinning home draw for the club against either Yorkshire Vikings or Surrey on June 17.

Former England captain Mike Atherton, who is now a Sky Sports pundit and cricket correspondent for The Times, said: "It's been a great effort from Worcestershire, six out of eight victories in the group stages.

"There are other more fancied teams but they've topped the table and have got a good group of players who have come together.

"It's great to see a club like Worcestershire doing so well, bringing young players through from their Academy and really competing against all the bigger clubs.

"One or two have been around for a little while. Kohler-Cadmore played a wonderful innings and once he made 63 the game was virtually done and dusted.

"They look a confident side. If you think they won at Derby without Joe Clarke, a very promising player, Moeen Ali and John Hastings, three big names for them.

"They have got players to come in and they are going to be a big threat to any team, particularly now that they've got a home semi-final."

Atherton was particularly impressed with paceman Josh Tongue.

He said: "Josh Tongue looks very promising. He is tall, hits the pitch hard, bowls at a lively pace above 85 miles per hour with a seam position which tends to take the ball away from the slips.

"His name was being bandied around a bit at the start of the season because he has done so well and you hear the whispers.

"I had quite a close look at him early season and he was generally getting his wickets in Championship cricket caught slip or gully with people fending him away and knocking the ball into the arc."

George Dobell, a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo, writes: "To make their success all the more satisfying, it was achieved almost entirely through the efforts of their locally developed players.

"After Ed Barnard and Josh Tongue, aged 21 and 19 respectively, had claimed four wickets between them, Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Daryl Mitchell both contributed half-centuries to break the back of the run-chase.

"Perhaps most encouraging were the performances of Tongue and Kohler-Cadmore.

"Tongue, a young man who has been in the Worcestershire set-up for more than half his life, is blessed with height and natural pace – he is already the quickest bowler at the club – and looked to have an exciting future as he hurried batsmen and regularly hit high on the bat.

"He is certainly a man the England selectors will be watching closely."

Dobell added: "It was adversity that proved the making of this current Worcestershire side. At the end of 2009, with the club crippled financially and reeling from the departure of several of their best players (notably Steve Davies, Gareth Batty, Kabir Ali and Stephen Moore), the future looked grim.

"While some might have turned to the Kolpak market, the Worcestershire director of cricket, Steve Rhodes, resolved to redouble his efforts to uncover local talent.

"Mining the resources of local private schools – notably Malvern, Shrewsbury, Bromsgrove and Oakham – he also strengthened the relationships with neighbouring non-first-class counties – notably Shropshire – and was rewarded with a crop of outstanding young players that are the envy of many far better resourced clubs.

"It is telling Worcestershire have beaten Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Warwickshire – all Test-hosting clubs – in this campaign. They will fear no-one in the semi-finals.

"Worcestershire supporters can take pride in the seminal part their club has played in their emergence and satisfaction from the fact that they are contributing admirably to the general strength of the English game.

"Many clubs would do well to learn from them and they provide a reminder of what can be achieved if talent is identified, encouraged and given opportunity."