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Richardson targets late promotion push with Worcestershire
ALAN Richardson is targeting some late-season fireworks as Worcestershire hope to launch a late promotion tilt.
The New Road side are currently mid-table in the LV= County Championship Division Two but, with three of their remaining five games on home soil, the evergreen seamer believes a top-two finish is not out of the realms of possibility.
Table-toppers Lancashire, who visit Worcestershire for a crunch four-day game today, have a healthy advantage over their title rivals, but there are a number of sides who will have an eye on claiming the second promotion spot.
“We said at the start of the year that if we could get six wins in the Championship we wouldn’t be far away from promotion,” said Richardson.
“OK, we need to win three of the last five, but there’s no reason why we can’t do that.
“There’s plenty of good cricket to be played and if we can put a few wins together, we can still be pushing come the end of the season.
“It would be nice to go into the last week of the season still having a real interest.
“We have three home games left in our last five and, apart from Leicestershire, all of the teams we play are right up there, so we can drag ourselves back into the mix.”
Richardson made a quiet start to the season, before bursting into life with back-to-back 12-wicket hauls, but then a series of niggling injuries limited his participation.
However, he is on the road to recovery now and desperate to play a big part in Worcestershire’s promotion push.
Richardson added: “I had a bit of bruising on my right knee, which wasn’t great, so I took a couple of weeks, while my ankle is a bit sore.
“I’ve had a few operations on my ankle over the years, so it is just a case of getting it right and then getting it going again.
“We’ve got six big weeks coming up with five Championship games.
“This season has been a bit stop-start for me — I didn’t get any wickets at the start, then they came in a flurry.
“Since then, because of the t20 and a few of the niggles I’ve had, I’ve not really got back into it.
“It’s been frustrating really. I felt I bowled OK in the game against Glamorgan at New Road without really threatening, while the game against Gloucestershire at Cheltenham was also frustrating.
“It just feels I’ve not been able to get back into a rhythm.
“It would be nice to stay fit for these last six weeks and get some overs under my belt.”
After a disappointing time in both of the one-day competitions, it would be great for the County fans if their team could stage a late rally in the Championship.
However, on the balance of it, this young and emerging New Road side may well benefit more from another season in Division Two.