BOSS Alex Gidman has praised the impact of Martin Guptill during his second spell with Worcestershire Rapids.

Guptill makes his final appearance in the North Group on Friday in the Edgbaston derby against Birmingham Bears for the Norman Gifford Trophy (7pm).

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

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

First-team coach Gidman said: “He is a 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 pro and we are very lucky to have had him with us again.”

Hamish Rutherford will be available to face Bears after flying into England 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 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.”

Rapids are second in the group and conclude the qualification programme with four games in eight days.

Gidman added: “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 and hopefully finishing on a real high and getting ourselves up that table as much as possible.”

Rapids from: Guptill, Wessels, Moeen, Rutherford, Parnell, Cox, Whiteley, Barnard, Mitchell, Pennington, Brown, Fell, Leach, Morris.