Head Coach Alan Richardson says the entire Worcestershire squad will have a big part to play this summer.
Richardson hopes he and Club Captain Brett D’Oliveira will have “nice selection headaches” to ponder over not just for the opening LV=Insurance game with Derbyshire but from April through to September.
The former New Road pace legend is aware the depth of the squad heading into the 2023 campaign means there will be some disappointed players not chosen to play at the Incora County Ground beginning on April 6.
But ups and downs in form, the balance of the side for different challenges, staking a claim in the Seconds and potential injuries mean a “real squad effort” will be required for a programme of 14 Championship, 14 Vitality Blast, and eight One Day Cup fixtures plus any additional knockout stage games.
Richardson said: “It will be nice to have headaches throughout the season, to be honest, and not just the first game. We’ve got some nice options in terms of the personnel we’ve got and also the balance that we can play.
“That will cause us some discussions between the support staff and Brett, which is really healthy, I guess.
“We are going to need that squad and the depth of the squad throughout the season. It is not just about the first Championship game, it is about the other 13 as well.
“There are going to be some disappointed guys at that first game, but hopefully, they understand and realise it is a long season.
“It is going to be a real squad effort to get through the season and be successful, so I think, whilst everyone is gearing up for that first game, as they should do, they should be gearing up for the season as a whole.
“It is going to be nice we’ve got those headaches. Really looking forward to it, and I think there will be some healthy discussion along the way.
“As Brett says, it is a strong squad and is going to cause us some real nice issues as we go forward.”
Ben Gibbon, Taylor Cornall, Gareth Roderick and Kashif Ali all went on to enjoy a sizeable chunk of senior cricket last summer after starting 2022 in the Seconds.
Richardson said: “It’s the nature of the beast. You are not just playing a three-match series, which they generally do in international cricket, and you score a 40-50, and it gets you through.
“We’ve got 14 four-dayers, 14 T20s and eight One Day Cup games, a lot of cricket, and you are going to need the depth, you are going to need guys pushing each other.
“We are going to have injuries; we are going to have potential dips in form, and hopefully also some real peaks in form, which we saw with Kashif last year.
“He wasn’t even contracted at the start of the season but got his way into the side through weight of runs.
“You saw Ben Gibbon pout in some really good performances in the second team, got a seven-for in a game at Stourport, but that’s what we need.
“You are not going to have the same 12-13 guys playing throughout the season.
“It is for everyone to appreciate it is going to be a real squad effort, and there will be some ups and downs with that on a personal level for some of the guys, but that is the nature of a six-month season with so much cricket going on.”