Worcestershire Rapids will be without star man Moeen Ali for their crucial back-to-back NatWest T20 Blast games this weekend.
The batting all-rounder has been in top form for Worcestershire this term, but will be missing following his call up to England’s Investec Test squad to play Sri Lanka at Lord’s next week.
While the news has been welcomed at New Road, the absence of Moeen could be keenly felt in their Blast encounters with Leicestershire Foxes and Durham Jets on successive days.
Left-hander Richard Oliver has put his hand up to be the man the Rapids rely on after impressing so far with 158 runs at an average of 39.50.
The 24-year-old is fifth in the competition’s leading run-scorers’ chart at a quickfire strike rate of 159.59.
The Rapids first travel to Grace Road to meet a Leicestershire side that have won one of their opening three games.
Leicestershire will also be bruised by a nine-wicket defeat in the LV= County Championship today, when Gloucestershire chased down a victory target on 251 in quick time.
The Foxes have one of the form bowlers in the competition, however, with Nathan Buck second on the wicket-takers’ list with eight at a miserly average of just 8.75.
New Zealand all-rounder Scott Styris returns to a squad that also includes Matthew Boyce, Dan Redfern, James Sykes and Ben Raine, who all impressed on second XI Finals Day at Arundel today.