Rhodes: Title win no one-man effort
Team work was the key for Worcestershire’s latest promotion, reports Chris Oldnall
Delighted Steve Rhodes described Worcestershire’s Championship promotion as a tremendous team effort after they ended their impressive Division Two campaign with victory over Durham.
They returned to the top flight during another stirring display at New Road in which they were again buoyed by a number of eye-catching individual performances with both bat and ball.
It was another personal triumph for director of cricket Rhodes who has guided the club to their fifth promotion in 12 seasons, the others being in 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2014.
He said: “The important thing is that, while there have been individual performances, people have taken it in turns and it’s been no one-man effort. It’s been a case of all the guys at certain times mucking in and dovetailing well.
“We were delighted we started the season so well. We had a little bit of a dip in the middle, but the recovery and the way we’ve played in recent games has been testament to the qualities that we are finding in the squad which is maturing nicely.
“So, yes, I’ve really enjoyed the Championship and the 50-over competition as well. It was a shame we could not have played quite as well as we could have in the semi-final. But it was a really good campaign for us to finish top of our group.”
Indian Test ace Ravichandran Ashwin ended his successful four-match stint with Worcestershire by hitting an important 82 in his side’s first innings and a five-for to dismiss Durham for 232 yesterday.
Rhodes said: “He’s a wonderful cricketer, so we were lucky to get him. He’s not just been a terrific performer for us, but to have him helping our youngsters and all our players by sharing his experiences has been tremendous not just for the players but also for the coaches.”
Rhodes also praised Joe Leach for his untiring efforts during his first season as captain – a responsibility which has not hampered his consistent wicket-taking exploits.
He said: “He’s certainly shone nicely in the Championship and Joe can be very proud of himself. To get the number of wickets he’s got has been a great effort by him.”
Leach saluted his players for the way they have clinched promotion. He said: “It’s been a great effort with predominantly a group of home grown lads with a couple of exceptional overseas players which we’ve had as well.”
Roar of delight: Worcestershire celebrate after winning the Division Two title