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Richardson lands new two-year deal
6:00am Saturday 14th July 2012 in News By Steve Carley - Midlands Sports Journalist of the Year 2013, @stevecarleyWN
WORCESTERSHIRE have underlined their faith in Alan Richardson’s ability by handing the veteran seamer a two-year contract extension.
The 37-year-old bowler, one of last season’s five Wisden cricketers of the year, has agreed a deal to keep him at New Road until the end of the 2014 campaign.
Richardson has firmly established himself as the linchpin of the County’s four-day attack and his 73 wickets in 2011 went a long way to ensuring Worcestershire retained their LV= County Championship Division One status.
Already this term he has continued to impress, taking 30 wickets at an avergae of 14.93, including 6-47 against Surrey in April and 4-52 in this week’s game with Durham.
Director of cricket Steve Rhodes said: “Every time he walks on to the field he gives 100 per cent and every time he seems to perform. Those two ingredients equal a very good cricketer and that’s why we feel confident in him over the next couple of years.
“Age does come into it but the key is how well he is performing. If you look at what he’s done last year and this year, if he was a batsman he would be scoring 150 runs every time he went to the crease.”
Richardson joined Worcestershire from Middlesex in 2009 and has been used almost exclusively as a four-day specialist, rarely figuring in Clydesdale Bank 40 or Friends Life t20 matches.
He said: “I’m delighted to have been offered the chance to continue my career at the club. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time here so far and look forward to playing in a side that continues to improve.”
Meanwhile, fellow right-arm seamer Nick Harrison has also penned a two-year contract with the County.
The 20-year-old has been featuring in Worcestershire’s Second XI and played a key role in helping the team to the Twenty20 finals day at Arundel last month.
“I am delighted to have been offered a new contract and hope to fulfil the potential the club believes I have,” Harrison said. “I am proud to wear the Worcestershire badge and look forward to a successful career at New Road.”
However, 21-year-old left-handed batsman Jack Manuel has not been offered a contract beyond the end of this season.
Worcestershire and Durham remain in the Division One relegation positions after their match at New Road was abandoned.
Relentless rain, from Thursday afternoon to the early hours of yesterday, saturated the ground and there was never a realistic chance of Durham resuming their second innings, with a lead of 105. Each team takes seven points, leaving Worcestershire six ahead of Durham with a game in hand.