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SKIPPER HAILS GROUNDSTAFF AS "SOME OF BEST IN THE COUNTRY" AS HE PREPARES FOR BOLLINGER REUNION

Skipper Daryl Mitchell has hailed the Worcestershire groundstaff as "some of the best in the country" as the opening home LV County Championship match of the camapign goes ahead on schedule at New Road against Kent starting on Sunday.

Mitchell is full of admiration for the way head groundsman Tim Packwood and his team - and all the staff at New Road - respond every year to the floods with this winter being no exception.

The opening batsman will be full of confidence after his magnificent 172 not out during the drawn game at Hampshire earlier this week from which Worcestershire collected a 12 points return.

Mitchell said: "If you had seen this place a weeks ago it was under 10-12 feet of water in places and it's amazing how resilient all the staff working here are and how resilient the ground is really.

"It looks in pretty good shape. It is a thankless task but I think Tim (Packwood) and the guys relish what they do and they are a fantastic bunch of people.

"You look around the circuit and they are some of the best groundstaff in the country.

"I've got the utmost respect for the work they do as is the case with all the staff who are so committed."

Mitchell will come face to face on Sunday with Australian paceman Doug Bollinger who spent the 2007 season at New Road but is now Kent's overseas player.

He said: "I am looking forward to seeing him, he is a good guy. It probably didn't go as well as he would have liked when he was here.

"But he's done some big things since, played a lot of international cricket since then and he's become a real force in the game with his left arm seamers.

"I could see the potential he had that season here. He showed signs, definitely. He could swing the ball, bowled at a very good pace.

"He did not have the greatest time of it but he had a lot of bad luck at times. He's a fine cricketer."

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