FORMER Worcestershire batsman Alexei Kervezee believes there are sides in Minor Counties cricket that are capable of giving their first-class counterparts a run for their money.

The ex-Netherlands international spent 10 years at Worcestershire before being released last summer.

Having given up on the first-class game, the 28-year-old is devoting himself to developing a varied portfolio of work which includes playing Minor Counties cricket for Shropshire, turning out for Halesowen in the Birmingham League, coaching for Solihull-based Complete Cricket and mentoring children who have been taken out of school for behavioural reasons.

This is Kervezee’s first taste of Minor Counties cricket and he is impressed with what he has seen in the opening two months of the season.

“I’m really enjoying myself,” he said.

“The people at Shropshire have made the transition from county cricket to Minor Counties cricket very easy for me.

“They have taken me in with open arms and I can’t speak highly enough of them.

“The standard of cricket is very good.

“We’ve played against a couple of teams who I genuinely reckon that on a good day could give a first-class county a run for their money.

“Without being biased, if we were at full strength and we had all our players available Shropshire could be like that.

"You look at Berkshire who did the double last season. We played a couple of T20 matches against them and they were a strong team.

“The same with Staffordshire.

“If they had all their players available and they were at full strength I reckon they could challenge a few counties.

“There would be some good match-ups and it’s a good standard to be in.”

Although Shropshire have recruited Kervezee mainly for his batting and handy off-spin they are also keen to utilise the experience he gained during his time with Worcestershire.

“I have been taken on as a player but they have also asked me to do as much as I can in terms of talking to the younger lads and helping the captain with any ideas that I have,” Kervezee said.

“They have asked me to get involved as much as I can and it’s something that I have really enjoyed.”

Shropshire captain Steve Leach is known to Kervezee as he had a brief period on Worcestershire’s books and is the younger brother of the County’s captain, Joe.

“Players like Steve and Will Parton have played quite a lot of Minor Counties cricket but they have asked me to be another set of eyes,” Kervezee added.

“If I see anything to come to them and to help the younger lads in any shape or form that I can.”