All-rounder Will Rhodes is looking forward to his first season with Warwickshire and his quest, first and foremost, to “earn” a first-team place.
Having signed for the Bears from Yorkshire, Nottingham-born Rhodes has spent the winter in Australia, playing grade cricket for Willetton, in Perth.
I’m really grateful for the chance to join Warwickshire and be part of what could be a really exciting new era.Will Rhodes
The 22-year-old, who can bat anywhere in the top order and bowls seamers, is one of the players signed with a view to forming the nucleus of the Warwickshire squad for the foreseeable future. But he knows that the squad he has joined is strong and competitive, so his immediate goal is simply to nail down a first-team place in all formats.
“I’m very pleased to have joined Warwickshire,” Rhodes said. “I’ve really enjoyed the winter in Australia. There are a couple of other Bears out here and I have spent quite a bit of time training with Dom Sibley so he has been marking my card about the Bears.
“Now I just can’t wait to get to Birmingham and get involved with the Bears.
“I want to challenge for a first-team place in all formats but I know it’s a very strong squad with a lot of good players, so first and foremost I just have to earn my place.”
Rhodes arrives at Edgbaston highly-rated having represented England through the age-groups and played first-team cricket for Yorkshire in all formats. He has played 19 first-class matches and 39 white-ball first-team matches, but rarely many in succession. So he is eager to play a lot of sustained first-team cricket as the Bears look ahead to a new era under sport director Ashley Giles, first-team coach Jim Troughton and bowling coach Graeme Welch.
“I felt the time was right to leave Yorkshire,” Rhodes said. “It was a big decision as it’s where I grew up as a cricketer, but I felt I was going nowhere. That’s no criticism of the club, but the size of the squad made it very difficult to get a chance.
“I’m really grateful for the chance to join Warwickshire and be part of what could be a really exciting new era. When I spoke to Ashley and Jim it was clear they have big ambitions for the club. And I want to play a big part in their plans.
“Warwickshire didn’t have the best of times in the championship last season but the squad is very strong and we have got to be looking to bounce straight back. They did brilliantly in the T20 last season so hopefully will do the same again there.”