May 042013
 

Worcestershire have signed up two of their best players, Moeen Ali and Gareth Andrew, on extended deals.

Moeen, 25, has committed to a further five years on top of his current deal, while 29-year-old Andrew has signed up for an additional two years.

"We're now seeing the benefits of our hard work," said coach Steve Rhodes. "They are game-changing all-rounders.

"As number three, one-day opener and number one spinner, Moeen is one of the most important players on the staff."

Moeen, younger brother of former Worcestershire and Gloucestershire batsman Kadeer Ali, and cousin of ex-England fast bowler Kabir Ali, moved to New Road from Warwickshire as a teenager in 2007.

Moeen Ali has made eight centuries in making over 5,000 first-class runs, while he now has 158 wickets at 34.61, including a career-best match-winning haul of 12-96 in last summer's County Championship victory against Lancashire at Old Trafford. Gareth Andrew has made 2,442 first-class runs and taken 184 wickets. but he is best known for his one-day exploits with his Mongoose bat, having hit a century at The Oval in 2010, as well as four Twenty20 fifties, the fastest of which took just 25 balls.

"When I first joined the club many people told me what a fantastic place New Road is to play," he said. "And they are right, so I am delighted to commit my long-term future to the county.

"The future for Worcestershire looks good and being a part of it excites me.

"I look forward to helping the club progress back to Division One and win some trophies."

Andrew, signed from his native Somerset in 2008, added: "I'm really happy to extend my stay here at Worcester, and am looking forward to the next two years.

"Hopefully, I'll play an integral part in helping the county progress during what is an exciting time, both on and off the pitch."

Both players were rested this week for Worcestershire's three-day game against Oxford MCCU in The Parks.

Skipper Daryl Mitchell (118), Matt Pardoe (89), Neil Pinner (54 and 80), Joe Leach (55), Ben Cox (52no) and Alexei Kervezee (47) all found their touch with the bat in Worcestershire's 130-run win.

After this Sunday's first YB40 game of the season at Hove, Rhodes' men return to four-day action when they start their first home County Championship game of the season against Leicestershire on Wednesday.

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