County skipper Daryl Mitchell and England all-rounder Moeen Ali have become members of the Worcestershire Ambassadors (WA) – a group of individuals who have a common passion for the county of Worcestershire.
Worcestershire Ambassadors were formed in 2000 by Worcestershire County Council and draws together leaders of industry and enterprise, celebrities, and those in public life – media, arts, and sport.
They all have a common mission to promote the county of Worcestershire.
Current chairman Vince Hopkins is delighted that Daryl and Moeen have become part of the Ambassadors.
He said: "There are about 200 members of the organisation, they tend to be leading figures in business, commerce, public sector, private sector, and also I wanted to do a bit more on the sporting scene as well.
"Chris Pennell and Craig Gillies have recently joined – and Moeen and Daryl are two obvious people. Steve Taylor is on the board of the Ambassadors and with Steve being chairman here at New Road, it was a natural thing to do really.
"Daryl is captain and Moeen is doing what he is doing for England.
"We just try and promote the county which can be outwardly with export and inwardly with tourism, culture, sport.
"These guys are great ambassadors for the county and the country as well so that is why we wanted them to join.
"It's also to nice to have some younger people as well like dancer Katie Love because we can have the image of 'average age 55, wearing a suit.'
"When you get Chris, Craig and Moeen and Daryl, it is great for the PR from our point of view. They do a fantastic job and business and sport are so intrinsically linked anyway."
Worcestershire chief executive David Leatherdale said: "It is a good honour. We are trying to expand our reach beyond just the cricket club itself and what we do.
"We've got a big presence as a county cricket club and what we do through recreational cricket and the community side of things and it is growing immensely.
"To have guys like the captain of your club being linked with the Worcestershire Ambassadors, which is a good group which is also growing, with the 100 different businesses which affiliate with that, then it is good for the club and good for Daryl and Moeen as potential figureheads to be involved in our local community."
Badsey-born Mitchell has supported Worcestershire CCC since he was a young lad and after graduating through the academy, he made his first team debut a decade ago and has been captain for the past five years.
Moeen came to New Road from Warwickshire but has a great affection for Worcestershire from whom he has graduated to earning international recognition via England during the past 15 months.
The Worcesershire Ambassadors hold an annual ball which raises many tens of thousands of pounds for county based charities.
Recipients have included St. Richard's Hospice, Acorns Hospice, the Prince's Trust, the Worcestershire Breast Cancer Unit and St. Paul's Hostel and this year the Ambassadors will be supporting two local charities involved with prostate cancer.
Hopkins said: "We raise about fifty thousand pounds a year for charities and it's prostate cancer this year. "We are supporting a charity to test as many people in the county as we can.
"It costs about £25 per test so we have already given £5,000 into getting more people tested and this is just a start.
"We are going to have a testing at New Road on July 30 during the Royal London One-Day Cup match with Yorkshire. David Leatherdale has agreed to do that so we'll be doing free testing for people who turn up for the one-day game here.
"We will hopefully test over 200 men on the day to help raise awareness and hopefully save lives.
"We also want to raise over one million pounds to have a robotic machine for the surgery at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch."
The 'Rory the Robot' Appeal aims to raise £1.6million for a da Vinci surgical system that will change the future of prostate cancer surgery in Worcestershire.
Although the state of the art surgical system will be based at the Alexandra Hospital, which is the county’s centre of excellence for urology, it will cater for patients across Worcestershire.
Prostate cancer claims the life of one man every hour and by 2030 will be the most common cancer. In Worcestershire alone there are 2500 men surviving prostate cancer at any one time, with about 450 to 550 new prostate cancer cases diagnosed annually.
The technology will allow surgeons to remove tumours with more precision through five cuts around the prostate gland rather than open surgery.
With Rory’s assistance patients will benefit from minimal blood loss, decreased pain following surgery, lower risk of complications and improved recovery times.
The Ambassadors will stage their annual ball at the West Midlands Safari Park on Friday, October 9. The price is £85 per ticket or £800 for a table of 10.
Hopkins said: "We tend to raise about £40,000 on the night and all that is going to go to prostrate cancer. We have sold over 270 tickets so far and haven't advertised yet.
"Praybourne Limited, MFG Solicitors, and BRI Wealth Management are sponsorship this annual ball."