Sunday, March 27th, 2016

County Name 12 Strong Squad For Two-Day Warm-Up Match At Taunton Vale

County Name 12 Strong Squad For Two-Day Warm-Up Match At Taunton Vale

Worcestershire CCC will tomorrow begin seven days of warm-up cricket ahead of the opening County Championship match with Kent at New Road which begins in two weeks time on April 10.

Skipper Daryl Mitchell's side will take on Somerset in a two-day encounter at Taunton Vale rather than the original plan of playing at the main County Ground.

Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes has named a 12 strong squad for Worcestershire's first action in this country since the end of last season.

The County, who returned 12 days ago from their pre-season trip to Abu Dhabi, will then take on Oxford MCCU in a three-day fixture at The Parks and a two-day match with Warwickshire at Edgbaston before the Kent fixture.

Rhodes said: "We have had some good practice days up at Kidderminster and it is nice to get back on English wickets because they definitely react differently to where we've been (Abu Dhabi).

"Then there is the weather, getting used to the cold again, and how conditions may be in April.

"We are very pleased with the effort levels the guys are putting in during practice and it is typical of the bunch of players we've got that they get stuck in and they want to improve and impress.

"We are now entering a pre-season phase of matches. We've been down to Taunton quite a bit in the past and been quite lucky with the weather and we've got to keep our fingers cross it will be dry.

"Taunton Vale is the venue. Originally it was the County Ground at Taunton but I think they've had a problem or two with their outfield.

"We are quite happy to go to Taunton Vale. It's a more than adequate reserve ground and at this time of year it is generally in good nick."

Worcestershire will have played 12 days warm-up cricket in total after facing Essex, Warwickshire and Derbyshire in a mixture of T20, 50 over and red ball cricket in Abu Dhabi.

Rhodes said: "Abu Dhabi was a success again. We had terrible storms and winds and quite a lot of devastation in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. That was interesting.

"It did cause a little bit of chaos with our itinerary and it meant we loaded up the game phase at the back end of the tour which was quite hard work playing four consecutive days of all formats.

"But we got a lot out of it, it was a really good for our batters to get time in the middle and bowlers to get overs under their belt.

"You can't beat match overs and facing bowlers in matches and that was the reason for going, to put into practice some of the stuff the lads have worked on in the winter.

"Now we are in pre-season phase in England it really does crank up because the first game is around the corner."

Worcestershire (squad): Mitchell, D'Oliveira, Clarke, Kervezee, Kohler-Cadmore, Whiteley, Cox, Leach, Barnard, Hepburn, Morris, Shantry.