Sunday, January 21st, 2018

Sharp: Pre-Season Trip “priceless” In Preparing For New Campaign

Worcestershire are returning to Abu Dhabi in March as part of their pre-season preparations and new Head Coach Kevin Sharp says the 10-day trip is “priceless” in terms of their build-up to the 2018 campaign.

The County will fly out on March 8 and swap their winter base at Malvern College to undergo warm weather training and match practice before returning home on March 18.

It is the fifth successive year that Worcestershire have taken in the UAE as part of their programme ahead of a new season.

Sharp said: “We are going to Abu Dhabi from March 8 to 18. Once you have had eight weeks of indoor practice (at Malvern College), to go away and get some outdoor facilities on grass wickets and some sunshine, is priceless.

“It also gets the whole group together because there are some lads who are playing abroad at the minute.

“To bring everyone together and to have 10 days of high quality practice and a little bit of matchplay towards the end is beneficial.

“There is so much you can do indoors – but indoor surfaces and facilities are so very different to what you are getting in April on a grass wicket in England.

“To start bridging that gap between getting on grass, having some fielding, batting and bowling, is a no-brainer.

“Matt Mason (Second Eleven Coach) has taken a lot of responsibility for organising this trip and the itinerary should be finalised shortly.”

George Rhodes and Charlie Morris will join the squad after playing grade cricket in New Zealand and Australia respectively this winter.

Worcestershire will be without a trio of players for the trip to the UAE because of playing commitments.

Joe Clarke and Brett D’Oliveira are part of the North squad to face the South in the Caribbean while Ross Whiteley will be participating in the Pakistan Super League.