Head Coach Alan Richardson says Worcestershire have created an “amazing opportunity” to try and crown a season of substantial improvement by gaining promotion to Division One of the LV=Insurance County Championship.
Quarter-final spots in both the Vitality Blast and Metro Bank One Day Cup have demonstrated significant steps forward in white ball cricket.
Now Worcestershire return to the four day format in second spot and with a 14 point lead going into Sunday’s home game with nearest rivals Glamorgan (10.30am start).
Richardson said: “It is an improved season, and we should not belittle the fact that we’ve got to quarter-finals. We haven’t won anything, but it’s certainly an improved season and I hope everyone has enjoyed it.
“It’s really exciting to be going into the last month of the season with a chance to still achieve something, which is to get promoted to Division One.
“It is a fantastic opportunity for the guys, after all the hard work we’ve put in during the season, that we’ve given ourselves that window in that last month.
“We’ve got three games to go and if we perform well, we give ourselves a chance to get some points.”
Richardson is expecting the same attitude and resilience that has been evident from the players all summer.
He said: “The players’ attitude throughout the season has been absolutely spot on all the way through.
“The resilience and spirit and fight they’ve shown has been first class, and it doesn’t come as a big surprise that it has carried on throughout the season.
“I don’t think it would have been that much different, irrelevant of where we are at (in the table), but it does definitely add that little bit with something for us to try and achieve at the end of the season still.”
Worcestershire will be looking to turn the tables after being beaten by Glamorgan at Cardiff earlier in the season.
Richardson said: “They are unbeaten for a reason. They’ve got some very good players in their side, a pretty strong squad and as always, in County Championship cricket, it will be a real challenge for us.
“From the first ball on Sunday against Glamorgan, it will be 43 days since we last played a red ball game.
“We have some really good form behind us. I think we played really good cricket at Oakham and really good cricket at Cheltenham on two very different surfaces.
“We should take great heart from that, about how we’ve gone about our cricket all season.
“We are aiming to put on as good a performance as we can to give us a chance to try and win the game.”
Adam Hose will return to Worcestershire action after playing for Northern Superchargers in The Hundred and Logan van Been is poised to make his Championship debut after making an impact in the One Day Cup.
Richardson confirmed that Dillon Pennington (ankle) and Jack Haynes (side) are also making good progress but Matthew Waite (groin) and Adam Finch (back) are still sidelined.
Logan van Beek