WORCESTERSHIRE’S England all-rounder Moeen Ali has refused to rule out a move away from New Road at the end of the season with Yorkshire and Warwickshire among his suitors.
And the news could be even more depressing for Pears fans with all-rounder Ed Barnard also being linked with a move away from New Road, with Warwickshire a possible destination for the 26-year-old.
Both Barnard and Moeen are out of contract at the end of the season and other counties are now free to make approaches to sign them.
Speaking to Test Match Special, Moeen admitted talking to other counties as well as with New Road chiefs.
“This is my last year at Worcester. I’m talking to them, I’m talking to other counties. I do love playing for Worcester, I’ve been there 15 years now,” he said.
“I moved from Warwickshire and they obviously helped me develop my game, play for England, but when the time comes I’ll make a decision.
“If I ever left, it would be for cricketing reasons.”
The news comes amid a depressing Blast campaign which has seen the Rapids, who won the tournament four years ago, win just one of their eight games so far.
Moeen himself branded last Thursday’s thrashing at Wantage Road as being among “the worst games I’ve captained in terms of how we have played”.
The Rapids went down by 73 runs at Wantage Road after a Chris Lynn hundred helped the Steelbacks to 220 for three before the Rapids were dismissed for 147.
A seventh defeat was confirmed on Friday (June 10) evening when the Derbyshire Falcons restricted the Rapids to 129 for nine despite after being set 169 to win.
A place in the knockout phases of the tournament now looks beyond the Rapids with six games still to play.
Speaking before the Falcons clash, Moeen said: “Confidence is really low at the minute, but we need to try and turn that around quickly. Sometimes, as individuals, including myself, you have to look at what you’re bringing to the team.
“When I say that, I need to score my runs and bowl well and the team, as individuals, need to do that as well.
“This is probably the first year I can think of with me as captain that we haven’t played well consistently.”
The Rapids visit Leicestershire Foxes on Friday evening (June 17) and then return to New Road in front of the Sky Sports cameras on Saturday (June 18) against Northants Steelbacks.