WORCESTERSHIRE’s on-trial star Richard Oliver has said he will continue to do all he can to earn a permanent contract with the county after dishing up one of his best innings of his career.
Relatively unknown talent Oliver, promoted into the first team after impressive displays in Worcestershire’s second eleven and as skipper of Minor Counties side Shropshire, smashed 77 from just 43 balls to help the New Road club to a comfortable five wicket victory against Northants.
The 24-year-old has been handed a six-week trial by Worcestershire director of cricket Steve Rhodes and has been picked ahead of other batsman including the likes of Joe Leach and Tom Fell.
But Oliver, who hit nine fours and three sixes in an innings which lit up a grey and cloudy New Road on Friday, said he was eager to continue the good work until his trial period ends in the middle of June.
“I feel like I was due (a score). I’ve been around a while, I’m on trial and you are always trying to prove yourself,” he said. “Hopefully that’s a start for me.
“I’d had a 30 and a 40, which was alright, but 77 is double that so I’ll take that anyday of the week!
“As regards a contract, you want to put yourself in a position where they can’t not sign you and that is easier said than done. I just want to keep turning up, keep winning games and hopefully that will be enough to keep me around for a while.
“I’ve got two weeks left and June 14 is deadline day and that’s when I know if they will hire or fire me.
“There is still a lot of work to do, I’m not going to rest on my laurels. I really want to bang the door down and make an impression in the six weeks I’m here.
“I’ve always loved playing T20. I love all forms of the game but I feel in T20 I can express myself. I love it and I enjoy being a part of this Worcestershire set-up.
“I want to be play in all forms of cricket and work on my game in all forms.
“White ball cricket is a strength of mine but I want to work on my red ball stuff too. I play against the new ball for Shropshire and there is no reason I cant work on that and turn myself into a decent first class cricketer on all levels.
“That’s the goal and what I’m here to do. I’m enjoying being here and used to come down and watch games as a kid aspiring to be a professional cricketer.”
Oliver will be twelfth man when Worcestershire return to action tomorrow (Sunday) playing Surrey at the Oval in the County Championship.