Worcestershire Rapids coach Alex Gidman believes the quality of T20 cricket in this country is “as strong as I’ve ever seen it”.

Gidman is preparing to face his former county Gloucestershire in the Vitality Blast quarter-final at Blackfinch New Road tomorrow (3pm).

He has played a key part in preparations with the Rapids who have topped the North Group in both the Royal London One-Day Cup and the Vitality Blast.

But Gidman has been impressed with the overall standard of teams in the short format of the game this summer as the Rapids strive to reach finals day for the firsts time.

He said: “I’m delighted that we’ve made it through to the knockout stages. It has been a good campaign and a great effort to top the group.

“I’m naturally pleased for Gloucestershire. I spent a long time there so to see them still competing and doing well in competitions is great for them although obviously I hope there is only one winner when we face them.

“I think, for me, T20 domestic cricket in this country is as strong as I’ve ever seen it.

“There are very few weak teams so anyone who reaches the knockout stages has done very well in my opinion.

“Naturally, like ourselves, Gloucestershire have done very well as have all the other counties who have made it through.”

The Rapids lost the One-Day Cup semi-final to Kent by two wickets in a game that could have gone either way.

Gidman said: ““I think the Kent result was disappointing but the performance was outstanding. We just simply lost a very good game of cricket.

“There is no doubt in the dressing room that we can perform in those sort of games. We’ve done it already.

“We are into knockout cricket which is very exciting. We’ve had some good experience of it already this year.

“Whatever happens in that game, we will continue to learn, continue to move forward and there is no doubt that this group can achieve lots of success.”