Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting WN NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Only one choice for player award
8:00am Friday 30th August 2013 in Sport By Steve Carley - Midlands Sports Journalist of the Year 2013, @stevecarleyWN
PICKING a player of the season at Worcestershire has not been the most taxing of tasks in recent times.
Too often the County come to rely on one, perhaps, two players to shoulder the majority of the workload.
Last year, seamer Alan Richardson was the stand-out performer to scoop the award, although Australian Phil Hughes was a deserving second.
This season, however, there can be only one candidate. So, with the best part of a month of the 2013 campaign still to go, step forward Moeen Ali.
The 26-year-old has been far and away Worcestershire’s best player with a string of performances that have once again brought him to the attention of England selectors.
Moeen has been on their radar before — back in 2010 following his breakthrough season at New Road — but his transformation into a spinning all-rounder has made his inclusion with the Lions even more valuable.
Such has been his prowess, that the County would have struggled even more than they have done without his skills.
After all, Moeen made two centuries in the LV= County Championship Division Two match against Lancashire — becoming the first Worcestershire player to achieve the feat at New Road since Graeme Hick in 2006 — and they still lost by nine wickets.
Unsurprisingly, that is reflected in the averages and he is now only narrowly behind Lancashire’s Simon Katich at the top of the Division Two standings, averaging 74 to the Australian’s 74.36.
Admittedly, he’s a long way behind Richardson, Graeme Cessford, Jack Shantry and captain Daryl Mitchell in the four-day bowling averages but has more than made up for it with the bat.
Although his one-day figures are not quite as impressive, Moeen has still made his mark in the limited overs format.
In July, the Birmingham-born player virtually defeated Northamptonshire single-handedly in the FriendsLife t20 by following up his 72 at the top of the order with 5-34. Northants went on to win the competition.
For all of Richardson’s excellence with the ball and Hughes’ with the bat, neither could have done that.
His century was also crucial in the 140-run victory against Warwickshire at Edgbaston in the Yorkshire Bank 40, a competition Worcestershire have, by and large, under-performed in.
Mitchell and Tilan Samaraweera are ahead of him in the YB40 batting averages, as are Richardson, Cessford, Shantry, Brett D’Oliveira, Mitchell and Chris Russell in the bowling charts.
But Moeen was Worcestershire’s leading wicket-taker in the disappointing t20 campaign, with nine at 22.33, and batting-wise, not far behind Alexei Kervezee and, the big-hitting Andre Russell, who has since left the club.
Worcestershire have not hit the heights expected of them this year but, without Moeen’s input, there would have been even less to shout about.
Comments are closed on this article.