IN his final outing of a fleeting stint as a Worcestershire player, Andre Russell showed a glimpse of his explosive potential.
The West Indian all-rounder, who was the County’s second overseas player for the opening eight games of their hit-and-miss Friends Life t20 campaign, has now returned to warmer climes to represent Jamaica in the Caribbean Premier League.
However, before he left New Road, the big-hitting 25-year-old vowed he would love to come back as Worcestershire’s overseas player in the future — particularly for a full season of county cricket as opposed to a brief t20 cameo.
“I would love to come back to Worcestershire, as long as everything is right,” Russell said after his match-winning swansong of 77 not out from 42 balls against Somerset.
“I’m not really in the West Indies team. Anything can happen. They are a great set of lads at Worcester. They are always fun — win or lose — and that is key in a team.
“When a team are losing and everyone is getting grumpy and not expressing themselves, it can play a big part in losing and continuing to lose.
“But the guys have a good spirit and I just think they can beat any team as long as they put on a good show on the day.
“The lads always keep fighting — playing there was a good experience.
“During the last two weeks of my time at Worcester, I often thought I’d like to play a full season of county cricket. I think it’s a good experience.
“The weather would be a bit of a problem — cold and chilly! But as long as I’m comfortable, having my family here, I know I would be OK.”
Worcestershire’s 2013 FLt20 campaign had already come off the rails before they had chance to threaten the quarter-finals.
However, the five-wicket win over Somerset and the defeat of table-topping Northants offer a glimpse of a bright future.
On his contribution against Somerset, Russell added: “I enjoyed that.
“Chasing 190, I just played my natural game and I finally got the opportunity to go out there and show the world on Sky and on television back home what I can do.
“It had been a while since I got so many runs, in a t20 game, an international or whatever. It was good fun.
“The wicket was still slow and the ball tended to hold up a bit and I missed a few, but that’s how it goes.
“But the faster you bowled, the quicker the ball came onto the bat so it was a good wicket for me to just play my natural game.”
The Graeme Hick Pavilion rocked to a raucous rendition of ‘The Worcester boys are happy’ — the team’s victory song — after the Somerset success, but Russell admitted he could do with a bit more practice on that front.
“I’ve tried hard to learn it,” he joked. “It’s ‘Worcester, yeah, yeah’, I can’t get the words but I’m always joining in! I’m the dancer, fooling around, it was good fun!”
If Russell was to be a regular fixture of the Worcestershire team next term, there’s a good chance he could play a big part in giving his team-mates more opportunities to sing their song.