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New players will arrive but only if price is right
STEVE Rhodes has revealed he does have a warchest at his disposal to help fire Worcestershire back into the top-flight of the LV= County Championship — but insists he will only spend the money on the right players.
With Vikram Solanki ’s considerable salary off the wage bill as the veteran batsman has opted to join Surrey for next season, as well as James Cameron retiring, New Road director of cricket Rhodes does have spare cash in his budget.
However, seeing as Worcestershire and austerity have gone hand-in-hnad for such a considerable time, the County chief isn’t going to become frivilous overnight.
He explained: “With Vikram moving on, it does mean there is some money there to spend, but to be honest, the last thing we want to do is spend money for the sake of it. “We’d rather save that money for when we need it if the right player isn’t out there at the moment.
“With the batting, we’ve lost Vikram, who has been a stalwart of the club, as well as James and Jack Manuel, but there is not a lot of real quality out there as a senior figure to replace them.
“Therefore, why not go with the likes of Alexei Kervezee and Moeen Ali, who will certainly be in our middle order next season? The time has come for them to stand up and say ‘I need to be consistent and get my 1,000 runs’ and, if that happens, we’ll be winning games of cricket.”
Rhodes also confirmed that wicketkeeper Ben Scott has been released and admits the club haven’t yet decided if they will bring in another gloveman or procede with youngster Ben Cox as their first choice behind the timbers.
The former England stumper added: “We haven’t made any decisions about wicketkeeper for next year yet, but I think Ben has gone OK in a couple of games this season.
“The important thing for Coxy was to go back to the seconds and, in terms of his development as a player, he was probably a little bit rushed into the first team.
“He went back to the second team and played extremely well, scoring good runs and earned his opportunity to come back into the first team.
“He has now served some sort of apprenticeship, which he hadn’t done before. “But does that mean he can now get a guaranteed place? I would say ‘no’ but, at this stage, there is just him on the staff and that is something we’ll look at.”
Rhodes said: “Ben Scott is an experienced player and we needed runs from him, but sadly he didn’t deliver that. “He played really well in the match against Lancashire, but that was the only real runs we saw. “When we kept having late order collapses, we needed to do something rather than just accept it.
“It was a tough decision to leave Ben out of the side and it was also a tough decision to release him, but he said to me that he half expected it. We have to move forward as a club.”