PEARS skipper Joe Leach has welcomed the signing of Kiwi opener Hamish Rutherford and hopes the overseas star will deliver the consistency Worcestershire are striving four in four-day cricket next summer.
Rutherford had two short stints with the county in 2019 and topped their batting averages in the Specsavers County Championship as well as making an impact in the Royal London One-Day Cup with two centuries.
Now the New Zealander, who plays for Otago during the domestic season back home, is available for the whole of next summer in all formats of the game.
Leach said: “He had a really good impact on the dressing room – as all of these overseas signings tend to do to be honest.
“To have that combative left-hander in that red ball format will stand us in good stead. Every time he played, the tempo he played at, the way he looked out in the middle was a good sign for us.
“He’s a high quality performer and with an overseas batsman it’s nice to have them for the whole season. His record in white ball cricket as well speaks for itself.”
Leach said while batsmen were in and out of form over the course of the season, he hoped Rutherford would continue to hit his peak for the adopted county in 2020.
“Sometimes if you have guys for short stints and they are out of form, you can cop the raw end of the deal,” he said.
“Obviously that works the other way as well but it’s nice to have someone in Hamish who is going to give us consistency.
“That’s what we are after in red ball cricket so to have someone here for the whole time will give us that.”
The Pears have endured two disappointing Championship campaigns with relegation from Division One followed by ninth place in Division Two this summer.
The New Road side were among the favourites to seal one of three promotion spots back to English cricket’s top flight this summer but won just three of their 14 games to finish almost 60 points off third-placed Gloucestershire.