WORCESTERSHIRE first-team coach Alex Gidman revealed key all-rounder Wayne Parnell had been in hospital after he was laid low by illness.

Parnell, 30, suffered a viral infection which forced him to miss Rapids' last two Vitality Blast games including Friday’s memorable quarter-final win over Sussex Sharks at Hove.

The South African has enjoyed a successful first full season at Blackfinch New Road as part of a three-year contract.

Gidman hopes Parnell will be back involved for T20 finals day on Saturday, September 21, when Rapids have been drawn to face Notts Outlaws in the semis.

The County boss said of Parnell: “He has been very poorly. He was in hospital over the weekend and has been ill since although he has now come out.

“We need first and foremost to make sure he is OK so we will get an update on him.

“He won’t be available for selection this week because he has got no energy and has barely eaten a thing for a week let alone played any cricket for a couple of weeks.

“We need to get him back up to speed, probably with the aim of finals day.

“He’s had a viral infection of some sort and hasn’t got over it at all yet. Fingers crossed for him and we can get his strength back up over the next week.”

Hamish Rutherford was due to fly back into England after missing the win at Sussex following his call-up for New Zealand’s third T20 international against Sri Lanka in Kandy.

He is available for the rest of the season including the next match — a Specsavers County Championship Division Two encounter with Glamorgan at Blackfinch New Road beginning on Tuesday (10.30am).

Gidman confirmed: “Hamish is flying back and will be available for the run-in.”

As for the possibility of Rutherford’s international team-mate Martin Guptill being fit and returning for Blast finals day, Gidman said: “I genuinely don’t know. We don’t know the extent of his injury.

“To fly home from an international series (in Sri Lanka) would suggest it is pretty bad.

“It is an abdominal injury of some description. We will have to get in touch with him over the next few days and see where he is at. We just have to wait and see.”