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22nd Sep, 2021

Wessels waves goodbye as Pears focus on youth

Rob George 2nd Aug, 2021

BIG-HITTING Worcestershire batsman Riki Wessels has been released from his Pears contract two months early, the club have revealed.

After weeks of rumours, New Road chiefs confirmed the batsman’s contract, which was for all forms of cricket and due to expire at the end of the current 2021 season, had been terminated.

The move ends a two year stay for the popular batsman who arrived at New Road in 2019 and hailed the move at the time as a ‘fresh start’.

Wessels made the move from Nottinghamshire in the winter of 2018 after 14 years in the East Midlands which also included a spell at Northamptonshire.

“I fancied a fresh start, to keep myself going and be inspired to keep playing and there’s no better place to do it at such a lovely ground,” Wessels said at the time.

“They’re a good bunch of young guys and I feel like I can leave something at the club and leave it in a better place than when I got here.

“It’s given me a new lease of life, an enjoyment of cricket again. I think when you turn up to the same place everyday day in, day out, you take it a bit for granted.”

However in recent weeks Wessels prolonged and unexplained absence from the final stages of the Vitality Blast campaign and the start of the Royal London One-Day Cup bid was noticed by the Pears faithful who criticised the club for its silence.

Pears chief Paul Pridgeon, chairman of the Cricket Steering Group at New Road,, has now broken the silence and wished Wessels well for the future.

“Given we as a club feel we need to introduce more opportunities for our young batsmen, we have agreed with Riki Wessels to release him from his contract so he can pursue other opportunities,” he said.

“Riki has done an excellent job for us particularly in T20 cricket and we wish him well going forward with his career”

The big-hitter thanked the club and supporters and said he’d ‘really enjoyed’ his time at New Road.

“With the club going in a different direction, it is the right time for me to move on but I am very much keen to continue playing in the coming years,” he added.

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