Worcestershire’s director of cricket Steve Rhodes has insisted that he will not be resigning despite the county’s wretched season.
The call for Rhodes to quit came during an occasionally ill-tempered forum attended by more than 300 members at the close of play of the first day of Worcestershire’s County Championship match against Nottinghamshire at New Road.
But former England wicketkeeper Rhodes, who is in his 25th season with Worcestershire, insisted that he was going nowhere.
“There is no way I am going to be resigning from this club,” Rhodes told the forum. “As far as progress is concerned, we did get promotion last year which was a high achievement and the year before we won the Pro40.
“This has been a tough year but I will not be resigning and I am determined to try to win this Pro40 League again.”
Worcestershire chairman Martyn Price also indicated that there were no plans by the county to axe Rhodes, who succeeded Tom Moody five years ago. “This man will be here next year – I can tell you that, and I will be supporting him,” Price said.
The forum came the day after Worcestershire announced off-spinner Gareth Batty had been released from the final year of his contract at his own request and on the day that wicketkeeper Steve Davies confirmed his move to Surrey on a three-year contract.
“I am bitterly disappointed Steve Davies won’t be playing for us next season,” Rhodes said. “I have had a lot to do with his development since the age of 11, we have given him the opportunity to open the batting, we have found room for him to play but he now seeks new pastures.
“We are not falling out. You never know, he might not like Surrey and be back in a couple of years. If players don’t want to play for Worcestershire, then fine, let’s have eleven who want to play for this wonderful club.
“We have got to filter out players who don’t want to play here and get in ones who want to play here. It’s going to be a tough few years, not an overnight success, while guys make their way in the game.”
Opening batsman Grant Hodnett, who has been released by Gloucestershire, and Leicestershire’s former Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire seamer AJ Harris are believed to be among Worcestershire’s targets.
Harris, who joined Leicestershire last winter, is out of contract at the end of the season. Leicestershire have offered him a one-year contract but he is understood to want a two-year deal. Harris, 36, had a spell on loan with Worcestershire last season.