WORCESTERSHIRE have signed leading Gloucestershire batsman Gareth Roderick on a three-year contract – and the right-hander is relishing being part of the “exciting project” at Blackfinch New Road.
Twenty-eight-year-old Roderick has put pen to paper until the end of the 2023 season in a deal which starts this November as the county continue to strengthen their top order.
Roderick’s arrival follows on from Jake Libby, signed from Nottinghamshire last winter, and New Zealand opener Hamish Rutherford, who was set to play all summer before the impact of COVID-19.
He played alongside head coach Alex Gidman at Gloucestershire, whom he sayshas been “a big influence” already on his career and is keen to learn more from him after being reunited at New Road.
Roderick also spoke with Worcestershire chairman Fanos Hira and Cricket Steering Group chairman Paul Pridgeon and was impressed with the plans outlined for the club on and off the field.
South African-born Roderick made his First Class debut for KwaZulu-Natal in 2011, then joined Gloucestershire for whom he made his debut in 2013 and has an impressive First Class average of 35.30 and a similar 33.82 in List A cricket.
He said: “I’m very excited to be joining Worcestershire. When I spoke to Alex and he explained the kind of path he wants to take Worcestershire on in the next five years, it became an exciting project to tie myself to.
“Once I met Fanos, Paul and Alex, had a look around and heard what is going on behind the scenes, it was a very appealing place to join.
“It looks like there are going to be big things happening in the next few years and to jump on that train and join everyone in that journey is really exciting.
“Part of the discussion I had with Alex wasn’t so much about tailoring for white ball or focusing on red ball, but building a squad to be sustainable and successful in all three formats.”
A delighted Gidman said: “For me, Gareth is an established First Class performer and a top order batsman which again, as we identify the areas in our squad that we need to strengthen, that is one of them.
“There were a lot of county cricketers in the last year of their contracts and, for us, Gareth was the stand-out player that we wanted to try and bring to New Road and we are really pleased he wants to come and play for us.
“Like most modern players, he is well suited to all formats. He wants to improve his T20 cricket as well, which is good to hear, and has a lot of experience in English First Class cricket, which is crucial.
“We are constantly trying to strike the right balance between youth and experience and with both him and Jake Libby I think we’ve got the balance right.
“Gareth has got lots of cricket left in him, is very hungry and feels this move is what he needs for his career and at this time of his life.”
Pridgeon said: “Members were concerned last year, quite rightly, about the lack of runs at the top of the batting order and we’ve made some real effort to improve it.
“We’ve signed Jake Libby from Nottinghamshire, had signed Hamish Rutherford as the overseas player and have now signed Gareth as well.
“These new signings also help to provide competition and, if you are going to be successful, that’s what you need.”