Rhodes: Ti­tle win no one-man ef­fort

Team work was the key for Worces­ter­shire’s lat­est pro­mo­tion, re­ports Chris Old­nall

The Cricket Paper - - REVIEW -

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.”

PIC­TURE: Getty Im­ages

Roar of de­light: Worces­ter­shire cel­e­brate af­ter win­ning the Di­vi­sion Two ti­tle

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