RAPIDS skipper and England all-rounder Moeen Ali has revealed his hopes for the future after Worcestershire ended their 11-year wait for silverware on a memorable Vitality Blast finals day at Edgbaston.
Speaking after the jubilant celebrations which greeted the club’s first trophy since the Pro 40 title in 2007, Moeen said his charges deserved their success and said the current group ‘could only get better’.
Moeen led the victory charge with 41 off 27 balls in an opening stand of 61 with Joe Clarke in the final against Sussex Sharks and won praise for his wickets and runs in the 20-run over Lancashire earlier in the day.
“It means a lot, it’s more than just us as a cricket team and a group of people, it’s for the city, the staff.
“It’s been a tough ten years but I want to give a special mention to Bumpy (Steve) Rhodes who has put this team together and isn’t at the club to see it.
“I am sure he will be very proud that all the guys he has brought through the academy are doing well and reaping the awards,” Moeen said.
“It’s great for me in my first year as a captain. Bumpy gave me the opportunity before he left and to lead a fantastic bunch of guys with no egos is pretty special.
“I didn’t expect to win the trophy. To get through the quarter-finals was more of a mental block for us. we have been there for a few years and to get over that was the more special day for us.
“We have been getting better and better every year, we have got everything right. We can get better as a team but I am chuffed for the boys.”
The all-rounder praised the contributions of overseas stars such as Callum Ferguson and Martin Guptill despite both missing out on an appearance at one of cricket’s showpieces events.
“Both Martin and Callum made such an impact in the team and we wish they were here today, but unfortuntely they aren’t, but I am sure we will speak to them soon as a team,” he said.
Moeen said the success could act as a springboard for future glory and praised the side, in particular the efforts of Ben Cox and young pace sensation Pat Brown.
“Our guys have got quite a lot of experience and have played a lot of cricket. Coxy is one of our senior players now but players like Pat Brown have come into the side and been outstanding – bowler of the tournament in my opinion.
“He’s won us games on his own and even today he was fantastic in both games and could have easily been man of the
Ecstatic celebrations in the Rapids dug-out saw Moeen accidently hit on the nose by a jubilant Daryl Mitchell before the all-rounder casually joined his team-mates in the middle.
“Mitch got a bit excited and nailed me in the nose! I was never going to run on to be honest, too much like hard work!” said the England man.
“It’s been a long day but as a captain you have to lead the team in all aspects. I gave permission to the boys to run on though!”