Thursday, March 9th, 2023


Club captain Brett D’Oliveira is anticipating strong competition for places in the bid to be part of the Worcestershire side for the opening LV=Insurance County Championship fixture with Derbyshire at the Incora County Ground starting on April 6.

D’Oliveira says himself, Head Coach Alan Richardson, and Assistant Head Coach, Kadeer Ali, will have “a good headache” in deciding who will be in the first eleven at Derby.

The recruitment of batter Adam Hose and all-rounder Matthew Waite has further enhanced the quality of the squad, and the pre-season programme will provide opportunities “for guys to put their hands up” in the battle for a spot.

Worcestershire face Gloucestershire, Northamptonshire, Oxford UCCE and Warwickshire in a series of games combining red and white ball cricket.

It follows four months of indoor training at Malvern and a training camp at Desert Springs in Spain.

D’Oliveira said: “Really excited about those guys (Hose and Waite) joining the club. First and foremost, they are exceptional characters but, on top of that, outstanding cricketers.

“We saw the quality in the Big Bash that Adam brings, and he brings some experience and knowledge in the white ball game, but he is also wanting to further his red ball cricket and is aspiring to do things in that format as well.

“Matthew had a couple of loan spells, and he fitted in tremendously well and is also a quality cricketer as well.

“A lot of competition for places? It’s a headache that I’m going to have, but it’s a good headache. Myself Alan (Richardson) and Kadeer (Ali) will have some decisions to make.

“These (warm-up) games provide opportunities for guys to put their hands up, and that’s precisely what we want, competition for places.

D’Oliveira is confident Worcestershire can make a genuine challenge for promotion to Division One of the County Championship.

He said: “Really optimistic. I wouldn’t be asking the guys to go out there and play if I didn’t think we could get up that table and challenge for promotion.

“That’s the goal. We want to work hard in these pre-season games and take build some momentum for those first couple of games.

“What do we need to improve? For me, it would be capitalising on the bigger points in the games where it looks like it could go either way.

“Those crucial points in games, recognising them, and how we can flip that positively and capitalise on them, and turn those 50-50 games into positions where we can win the games.

“We’ve identified those areas we think we can potentially improve upon, and we will be looking to put that right during the season, but also understanding as a group of players and captain that not every day you can put in that performance to get across the line.

“Falling short at times, if we are doing the right processes, we accept that. It’s when we are not doing the right things that I’ll question the group, but I don’t have to do this very often with this group.”