Worcestershire skipper Joe Leach says the signing of wicket-keeper-batsman Riki Wessels is a “statement of intent” in terms of the progression being made and ambitions of the club.

Wessels has signed a three year contract up until the end of the 2021 campaign after leaving Nottinghamshire.

He follows all-rounder Wayne Parnell, who also signed a three year deal, in strengthening the County’s ranks.

Leach, who will return to full training next month after his back injury, said: “It is a good signal of intent, having lost Joe (Clarke), to bring in a high class replacement and it is really important for us to keep going forward.

“Wayne Parnell and Riki Wessels are quality players and it is good statement that the club are attracting players of such standing and ability.

“Riki will be a like for like replacement for Joe at the top of the order in white ball cricket and in the Championship will slot into the middle order with Callum (Ferguson) and heighten competition for places.

“I have been on the receiving end of a couple of his innings in white ball cricket and the bowlers will be relieved that he is on our side from now on!

“It will be a new challenge for him in a new environment and a slightly different role as an elder statesman.

“But the fact we can persuade a player of Riki’s quality to join us shows what we are about as a club – one that is going forward.

“The ground and the facilities sell themselves and the side is doing the same now.”

Wessels said: “I’ve spent eight years at Trent Bridge and enjoyed being part of successful teams that challenged for trophies but now is the right time for me to make a change.

“Worcestershire will provide a new challenge and I’m really looking forward to starting another chapter of my career at a club that I have a lot of admiration for.”