WORCESTERSHIRE first-team coach Alex Gidman believes Jack Haynes will reap the benefits of being alongside a posse of experienced players at Blackfinch New Road.

Haynes came into the side at the tail-end of last summer, initially opening on his County Championship debut against Northamptonshire and then batting at number four for the remaining three fixtures.

With the winter recruitment of Jake Libby and Hamish Rutherford alongside the likes of Daryl Mitchell, Riki Wessels and Ben Cox, the 18-year-old will have plenty of older heads to help him with his development.

Gidman said: “We are naturally excited about Jack. He is a mature young man and we know he is very talented.

“However, we have realistic expectation levels of him. We want him to enjoy his cricket and learn as much as possible and as quickly as possible.

“Hopefully with some experienced players around him it should be an easier time for him to come in and learn his trade.

“But like anyone he knows he will have to earn his place in the team and we expect a lot of competition for places with the signings we’ve made.”

Gidman also feels Haynes will reap the benefits of playing for England in the ICC Under 19 World Cup in South Africa this winter.

He said: “Short term, we’re all really excited for him to have that chance to represent the under 19s and enjoy the experience of a World Cup.

“We’ve been fantastic at Worcestershire at producing under 19 cricketers.

“I’m really looking forward to watching another one go through it now and have a great experience and I’m sure he will learn a huge amount.”

Meanwhile, Hamish Rutherford continued his impressive run of T20 form but was on the losing side with leaders Otago Volts in their latest Super Smash encounter against Central Districts in Napier.

Worcestershire’s 2020 overseas signing raced to 41 off just 19 deliveries after Volts opted to bat.

Rutherford struck four sixes and three fours and dominated an opening stand of 56 in just 4.5 overs with Neil Broom.

The 30-year-old collected a four and a six off successive balls in the first over from Ben Wheeler and repeated the same assault in the same bowler’s second over.

Rutherford hit Blair Tickner for two sixes in three balls before falling later in the same over.

Only Nick Kelly (45) topped Rutherford’s contribution in a total of 184-7 and Otago looked on course for victory as Central Districts reached 92-4 in the 13th over.

But Gloucestershire all-rounder Kieran Noema-Barnett made 55 off 30 balls to help Central Districts reach 186-5 with an over to spare.

It was Otago’s second defeat in the competition after four wins, a no result and one loss from the first six games.