KIDDERMINSTER Victoria captain Jonathan Wright paid tribute to Worcestershire Academy director Damian D’Oliveira.

D’Oliveira died in the early hours of Sunday morning after losing his two and a half year battle with cancer.

For a generation of Worcestershire players, the 53-year-old was an influential figure at the helm of the county side’s youth set-up.

The likes of Matt Pardoe and Neil Pinner would have been guided by D’Oliveira, who was the son of Worcestershire and England legend Basil.

“Damian is a huge loss to cricket and he’s going to be missed by everyone,” said the captain.

“While he’s older than I am we are still of the same generation and we played together.

“He was a lovely guy and he had a brilliant ethos to the game.

“His biggest strength was translating his own experiences to the younger guys but his ethos was also important.”

D’Oliveira scored more than 9,000 first class runs, with a highest score of 237, and nearly 5,000 List A runs and was part of one of the most successful sides in Worcestershire’s history.

The middle order batsman was present as they won two County Championship titles, two Sunday league crowns and the Benson and Hedges Cup.

He leaves his wife Tracey and three sons Marcus, Dominic and Brett.

Meanwhile, after Saturday’s clash against Dorridge was abandoned because of the wet weather, KVCC face a tough test at this season’s surprise success story West Bromwich Dartmouth (noon start) this weekend.

The Black Country outfit are second in the Birmingham Premier after a blistering start to the season.

In contrast, KVCC find themselves second from bottom with just one outright win.

Wright said: “At the start of the season we wouldn’t have expected to be where we are, but as I have said before it’s time for everybody to step up. A good win will give us some confidence.”