Wednesday, November 30th, 2022


Head Coach, Alan Richardson, is looking for Worcestershire to continue the brand of excellent cricket shown during the climax of last season when they launch their 2023 LV=Insurance County Championship programme in April.

The Richardson era will get underway with two away Championship matches against Derbyshire and Durham before Gloucestershire are the first opponents at New Road from April 20.

Worcestershire will also entertain Sussex and Leicestershire during a packed opening two months of red-ball cricket in which they will play six Championship games.

Richardson said: “There is always a special buzz when the fixtures are announced, and before then, there is a lot of work to go through and implement this winter.

“But the squad will be able to take a lot of confidence from the way we finished in September, defeating the Division Two champions, Nottinghamshire, and being on top at Glamorgan and Sussex before rain prevented us from taking advantage of the positions we were in.

“The aim will be to continue in that manner and take further steps forward in our red ball cricket after not being far outside of the top two last season.

“The players are also aware of the need to finish teams when on top and not allow opposition back into games, but that comes hopefully with experience and game management.

“There is plenty to be optimistic about, but also a lot of hard work and preparation during the next four months.”

Championship cricket will continue to be played throughout June and July when the Vitality Blast takes centre stage, with Worcestershire having home four-day fixtures against Derbyshire and Yorkshire during that period.

The Championship season then concludes with three matches in September.

Worcestershire Rapids will launch the Vitality Blast away to Northamptonshire Steelbacks on May 24 before two home games in four days against Yorkshire Vikings (May 26) and Leicestershire Foxes (May 29).

The seasonal T20 highlight and guaranteed sell-out against local rivals, Birmingham Bears, will take place at New Road on June 16, with the return at Edgbaston seven days later.

The Rapids produced a superb performance to win last summer’s home encounter with the Bears.

Club Captain, Brett D’Oliveira, said: “The lads were right on top of their game for that fixture and defeating the Bears is always special, especially in front of our home supporters.

“But we know we have to perform like that on a more consistent basis after a disappointing season of white-ball cricket.

Richardson added: “Last season’s Blast never got going for us after a challenging start of four away games and key personnel being unavailable.

“We want to put that behind us, learn from the experiences, and give a far better account of ourselves.”

Worcestershire will have a new look group in the One Day Cup, with Somerset, Gloucestershire and Warwickshire amongst the opposition.

In addition to the three main competitions, Worcestershire will play a three-day game against Oxford UCCE at The Parks in the build-up to the season.

Last summer’s tournament saw Kashif Ali and Taylor Cornall make their mark when the absence of several players to The Hundred provided opportunities.

Richardson said: “We want to give our loyal members and supporters a team to be proud of in all formats.

“There will be good days and challenging days, but the players are all proud to represent this great club and will be giving everything.”

International Cricket will again feature prominently at New Road during the latter part of the season.

Worcestershire will take on New Zealand in a T20 match on August 25 in one of the highlights of the summer.

The Black Caps have shown themselves to be one of the leading sides in the world in white and red ball cricket in recent years.

Then, from September 8, Worcester will host England Under-19s in a four-day Test with Australia to watch future budding international stars.

An added attraction for members is four matches being played at New Road by Central Sparks in either the Charlotte Edwards Cup and Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy.

In general, the domestic programme will be very similar to the structure of last summer, with 14 matches in the LV Insurance County Championship, 14 Vitality Blast Group games and eight Royal London Cup group fixtures.

The Championship matches in April-May start on a Thursday and, after that, begin on various days of the week.