WORCESTERSHIRE’S own Ashes winner Moeen Ali will be in the Rapids side which aims to reach its first ever Natwest T20Blast Finals Day.
The Rapids welcome Hampshire to New Road on Friday and Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes said he ‘very much hoped’ skipper Daryl Mitchell would return from his hamstring injury for the sell-out clash.
Moeen has been released by the ECB to appear for his county after England completed a 3-1 series win over the weekend at Trent Bridge and Rhodes said the news was a huge boost for the team.
“He showed on a couple of occasions earlier in the T20Blast what a devastating and dangerous player he is and we are delighted to welcome him back,” he said.
“He’s been part of a successful Ashes squad and we are delighted for him and England as well.
“To have him back at the top of the order though will make the opposition wary of the power he has got.”
Rhodes confirmed Mitchell was on course to resume captaincy duties for the game and had a net during the four-day LV= County Championship game with Nottinghamshire this week.
“It’s too early to tell but he is on course, he has worked extremely hard with the medical team who have been outstanding in the way they have rehabbed him.
“Daryl himself has left no stoned unturned, he has been badgering away every single moment to do what he can be doing to get right,” he said.
Victory on Friday will see the Rapids make history and reach Finals Day for the first time and Rhodes said the team were looking forward to the clash.
“It seems like ages since we played a T20 game but we have had a fantastic campaign and we’re looking forward to hopefully nailing it on the night,” he said.
“Hampshire will come here full of optimism, at the end of the day they have been quite a successful T20 side for a number of years.
“But if we can produce anything like what we have done in some of the T20 games this year then we could well have a positive result,” he added.