County pre-season could be in Kidderminster

DAVID LEATHERDALE: Has more flooding to deal with.

DAVID LEATHERDALE: Has more flooding to deal with.

First published in Sport

WORCESTERSHIRE are facing the prospect of starting the 2014 season away from New Road as floods continue to wreak havoc on the city.

With the first warm-up game due to take place at the County's home against Gloucestershire on March 24, it looks increasingly likely they will have to switch matches to Kidderminster's Chester Road.

The County are not due to play an LV= County Championship Division Two match at New Road until the visit of Kent on April 13 but will face a race against time to get the surface ready.

It is currently under several feet of water and the storms are showing no signs of letting up in the near future.

Access to their new £10million facilities has been restricted by the closure of the main road bridge this week and yesterday officials were forced to close the ground.

The squad are currently training indoors at Malvern College before they head out to Abu Dhabi for a pre-season tour next month.

County chief executive David Leatherdale has been optimistic over clearing the ground after previous experiences with flooding.

Meanwhile, Worcestershire have been boosted by the news Saeed Ajmal is set to be with them for most of the 2014 campaign.

The Pakistan spinner will link up with the County following the conclusion of next month's ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.

He could miss the opening match at Hampshire on April 6 should Pakistan reach the final and is also expected to miss some of July and August for the Caribbean Premier League.

But, otherwise, Worcestershire hope to have him on board to bolster their attack following the retirement of Alan Richardson, who has joined Warwickshire as a bowling coach.

Although Saeed is a spinner, he could be deployed for longer spells alongside all-rounder Moeen Ali for Steve Rhodes' side.

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