Thursday, 11 April 2013

Worcestershire prepare

  Given that the county's notoriously flood-damaged Worcester headquarters at New Road has spent 35 days under water this winter, leaving them with a clean-up bill as high as £50,000, the players were pleased just to get the chance of any sort of practice.Tim Packwood and the lads have given us great facilities to play on," Mitchell told BBC Sport. "We have to say a big thank you to them.Anything is better than none at all," said chief executive David Leatherdale.The fact that Worcestershire have been able to prepare properly, despite all the handicaps put in their way, has been demonstrated in the form they have shown in the handful of practice games they have managed to get in.It's easy to say we should all head off to the sun, but who can ever tell what the weather will do in England.With his 2012 opening partner Phil Hughes' return to form with Worcestershire last season meaning that he will now ply his trade for the Aussies in England this summer, rather than back at New Road, skipper Mitchell will have more responsibility on his shoulders this season.But, with no Marquee signing other than their big tent, any hopes that English county cricket's yoyo of a county might bounce back for a fifth Championship promotion in 10 years depend on the accuracy of their bowling attack - and the astonishing Alan Richardson in particular.This time last year it was 20 degrees warmer - and we were having to contend with hard wickets over here.Having spent two weeks in nets under the Kidderminster marquee before finally getting some time in the middle last week at Chester Road, in a couple of pre-season practice games, Worcestershire captain Daryl Mitchell cannot speak highly enough of the job done by the county's ground staff.

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