JUST how bad is it at New Road? One minute we are told that there isn’t a lot of money and the next we’re told the cuts have already been made.
Worcestershire needed to shed around £250,000 off their playing budget for next season after a drop in money from the England and Wales Cricket Board.
Yet, according to chief executive Mark Newton, they have managed to do this by not renewing Simon Jones’ contract and opting against having an overseas player next year.
So, with their cricketing budget ring-fenced, the departures of Steve Davies, pictured right, and Gareth Batty as well as the possible exits of Kabir Ali and Stephen Moore, will their wages ploughed back into the squad?
By any stretch of the imagination that is going to be a sizeable chunk of money.
But that doesn’t include the wages of Josh Knappett, who has been released, while the futures of left-arm spinner Ian Fisher and young pace bowler Mehraj Ahmed are still to be resolved.
Whatever is left at New Road, director of cricket Steve Rhodes has a rebuilding job that he has never had to do before.
Priority number one is finding a wicketkeeper. Steve Adshead and Jonathan Batty have been linked with a switch to Worcestershire.
Priority number two was to add experience to their bowling attack. Rhodes has done that by bringing in 34-year-old Alan Richardson.
The Middlesex fast bowler, with all due respect, is not a marquee signing, but a solid, honest performer. However, the former Warwickshire quick has not endured the best of seasons.
Injuries have prevented him from playing a full role at Lord’s this year and he has only taken 11 wickets at 56.18.
Hardly inspiring is it?
But, as Rhodes pointed out when the signing was announced, figures can be misleading.
The former Staffordshire Minor Counties seamer has a first-class career of average of 29.79 for his 314 wickets.
Without wanting to sound pessimistic about the 2010 campaign, I would expect more signings of the Richardson ilk rather than the Kabir and Davies mould.
Steady heads are going to be needed next year as Worcestershire try and heal the hurt of this campaign.