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LEATHERDALE TRIBUTE TO STAFF ENSURING NEW ROAD READY FOR START OF SEASON

Chief executive David Leatherdale has praised the efforts of the entire Worcestershire staff in ensuring the 2014 home programme will get underway at New Road on schedule with this Sunday's LV County Championship clash against Kent.

It is only seven weeks ago that the ground was under 10 feet of water and contingency plans were put in place at Kidderminster's Chester Road ground should the worst scenario occur.

But the efforts of everyone has ensured the county will launch their campaign at their headquarters against Kent skipper Robert Key's side as they look to build on a promising performance in the rain-hit draw at Hampshire.

It will be the first chance to watch the county in action from the new magnificent corporate and members facility The View which was officially open for business last September.

Leatherdale said: "The guys have worked particularly hard as they have had to operate at Kidderminster at the same time in preparing wickets for pre-season games and nets as well as getting the ground ready here.

"There are things still to be done but, when you bear in mind six-seven weeks ago we were under ten feet of water - and were for six or seven weeks - there has been a huge amount of work to get things ready for Sunday.

"Everybody at the club who has played their part in the clean-up and their efforts have been superb and are much appreciated."

Leatherdale has seen a significant improvement in the condition of the reseeded outfield after a helping hand from the elements last weekend.

He said: "That little bit of rain last weekend has made a big difference. Most of the areas that have been reseeded have come through pretty well.

"There are a couple of patches literally around the edge of the field that will need a little bit more work but they are not in key areas at present.

Leatherdale is also grateful for the offers of help received from other counties during the battle to ensure Sunday’s encounter went ahead at New Road.

He said: "Other counties have appreciated this year the effort that goes in to putting cricket on at New Road.

"We have had support from the other counties who have lent us bits of equipment and loaned additional covers to allow us to prepare New Road and look after Kidderminster at the same time.

"It demonstrates the camaraderie between the 18 counties and all the effort will have been worthwhile when, come 11am on Sunday, play will get underway."

Admission prices on Sunday, which will be the regular starting day for County Championship cricket for much of the summer, are £16 for adults (£13 in advance) and £5 for juniors.

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