Alex Gidman has praised the impact made on and off the pitch by Martin Guptill during his second spell with Worcestershire Rapids.

Guptill will make his final appearance in the Vitality Blast North Group tomorrow evening in the Edgbaston derby against Birmingham Bears for the Norman Gifford Trophy.

He will then fly out to Sri Lanka for New Zealand’s trio of T20Is next month.

Guptill is the Rapids leading run-scorer in the 2019 competition as well as topping their averages.

First Team Coach Gidman said: “He is world class player – and world class players are going to have an impact if they are with you for long enough.

“What a lot of people don’t get to see is what these guys contribute off the pitch as well.

“Martin has been amazing for our group off the pitch and helping the younger batsman.

“He is an excellent man and an excellent pro and we are very lucky to have had him with us again.”

Hamish Rutherford will be available to face the Bears after flying into England today as a replacement for Callum Ferguson who has returned to Australia for personal reasons.

Gidman confirmed: “He is available for selection. We are looking forward to having him back. He fitted in very well and performed really well during the early part of the season.”

Moeen Ali returns to lead the Rapids as the official T20 captain.

Gidman said: “Mo is our captain and had such an impact last summer.

“We are looking forward to having him back again, a three-dimensional cricketer as well as the captain.”

The Rapids are lying second in the North Group and now conclude the qualification programme with four games in eight days.

Gidman said: “We are looking forward to them. Obviously that win last week (against Durham) gave us a huge boost.

“We are looking forward to getting back into T20 cricket tomorrow and hopefully finishing on a real high and getting ourselves up that table as much as possible.”

The Rapids have announced a 14 strong squad and both sides will be hoping for better luck with the weather after the wash-out of the Blast game at Blackfinch New Road.

Worcestershire Rapids (from):

Guptill
Wessels
Moeen Ali ©
Rutherford
Parnell
Cox (w)
Whiteley
Barnard
Mitchell
Pennington
Brown
Fell
Leach
Morris