BOWLING coach Alan Richardson has paid tribute to the contribution to Worcestershire of departing duo Martin Guptill and Travis Head – as Wayne Parnell prepares to arrive as one of their overseas replacements at New Road.
Guptill flew out on Monday for a stint in the Caribbean Premier League while Head will enjoy a brief break in Adelaide before linking up with Australia A for their tour of India.
But South African all-rounder Parnell was set to arrive yesterday (Tuesday) and join forces with the other overseas player, batsman Callum Ferguson, who has already made a big impact with the County in white ball cricket.
The pair will be available for Friday’s Vitality Blast match with Durham Jets at Blackfinch New Road (4.30pm start).
Richardson, who is overseeing the Rapids squad this week alongside Alex Gidman while head coach Kevin Sharp takes the opportunity to watch the seconds in action, said: “We’ve just said our goodbyes to Martin and Travis and they’ve both added to the culture which is what you always want your overseas players to do.
“They can never guarantee you runs or wickets but hopefully they come with a good work ethic, they come with a really good attitude professionally – and they both have done that.
“They have both added a lot of quality to us, a lot of experience, a lot of nous cricket-wise so it’s been great to have them around.
“It will be a real shame that they’ve gone but now we’ve got Callum (Ferguson) back who has obviously started his Worcestershire career brilliantly, has a lot of experience as well, and is a real calming influence, and we’ve also Wayne Parnell is coming in.
“He will give us something a little bit different to what we’ve had this year. He is someone with a lot of international experience already.
“He has played in the IPL as well, played around the world and got plenty of experience of T20 leagues. He is someone with quality.
“Wayne is someone who can hopefully give us some lower order runs as well. He is a powerful hitter of the ball, a clean striker, it just gives us another all-round package really. He has got a bit of pace, he moves the ball around nicely.
“It is quite exciting to have something a little bit difference. It means the balance of the side might be a little bit different but we are happy to make that change.”
Guptill signed off in record-breaking fashion, hitting the fastest ever T20 century for Worcestershire in the win against Northamptonshire which left the County joint top of their table.
“There is still a lot of cricket to be played and hopefully the boys can finish off where myself and Travis (Head) have left the team and push on for a few more wins to qualify for the quarter-finals, he said.
“There are some really good players here. There is experience mixed in with inexperience but that is what makes the team exciting.
“Young guys can come in and express themselves and just go out and play out the way they do. It’s working for the team at the moment so hopefully they can continue that on.”