Cricket
THE MATT MASON COLUMN

By Matt Mason 16/05 Updated: 18/05 09:18

Buy photos » Welcome return - All rounder Gareth Andrew. Picture by Ian Smith

IT'S GREAT to see Gareth Andrew back because he is a key member of our squad in all forms of the game and a genuine all rounder, who really helps the balance of our side.

We have missed him slotting into the batting line-up and also bowling his quickish fast medium deliveries.

Gaz is a genuine wicket-taker and seam bowler and is capable of changing the course of a game with both the bat and ball, so to get him back a good month or so before we expected is a real bonus.

I think even if Alan Richardson hadn't got injured against Surrey we would have played him this week because he had got to the point where he was ready to go.

His preparation has been a little bit interrupted by the weather and he's probably not got through the amount of overs he would have liked to, but he's a confident young man and we back his ability.

It's natural of course that as a bowler you do pick up injuries, as I well know.

You cannot do the volume of work that Al Richardson does and avoid picking up some sort of injury, despite the fact he does everything he can to look after himself between games and we rest him as much as we can.

But this is just one of those one-off type injuries and it's not like he's had a problem with his shoulder his whole career.

Despite the injury Al is just being his typical positive self and is already recovering very well, so we hope to see him back very soon.

As bowling coach the great challenge for me now is to make some of our younger lads believe they can fill the void and give them the confidence to believe they can do what Alan does.

It's important the likes of Richard Jones in this current game against Sussex leads from the front, along with Gareth Andrew, and has the confidence to do it day in day out like Al does.

The victory over Essex in the Clydesdale Bank 40 was terrific as the boys won comfortably and played some really good cricket.

The bowling was spot on, the fielding was as good as we have seen it for some time and also Moeen and Vik were terrific with the bat.

What made it more impressive was the way the boys bounced back after another disappointing game with the bat against Surrey only days before.

Hopefully they will have taken some confidence from that game into this match against Sussex.

TWO teams of current and former Australia and England cricketers will go head to head in a quiz which is sure to ignite past rivalries next month. The Sportsman's Evening, in support of the Matt Mason Testimonial Year, takes place on June 21 and MC and Quizmaster for the night will be Dave Bradley from BBC Hereford and Worcester. There will be a fabulous raffle and auction prizes on offer as well as the chance to meet some of the Worcestershire team. For more information visit www.mattmasontestimonial.com or email mattmasontestimonial2012@gmail.com

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