AUSTRALIAN all-rounder John Hastings will return to Worcestershire next season vowing to complete “unfinished business” at New Road.

Hastings, 31, played his last game in the County Championship Division Two defeat to Sussex last month when he broke down with a foot injury.

Having completed his rehabilitation and been appointed Melbourne Stars captain for Australia’s domestic Twenty20 Big Bash this winter Hastings has vowed to rediscover his best form for Worcestershire in 2018.

By his own admission the Victorian Bushranger did not fire on all cylinders this summer.

He took 16 Championship wickets at 34.38 and scored 139 runs at 23.16 from six games.

Hastings’ season highlight was smashing the second fastest Twenty20 half-century in Worcestershire’s history off 19 balls against Birmingham Bears at Edgbaston in August.

“As far as my own game is concerned I am disappointed with my output this year but feel I have unfinished business and am looking forward to performing well next year,” Hastings said.

“Worcestershire definitely did not see the best of me.”

Hastings believes the New Road side deserve promotion to Championship Division One this summer.

Leaders Nottinghamshire are virtually sure of promotion with Worcestershire in pole position to join them.  Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who replaced Hastings as the County’s overseas player, took eight wickets on his Championship debut and made useful runs in the win over Gloucestershire.

“I think we have done very well in four-day cricket and deserve to get promoted,” Hastings said.

“Also in the Royal London One-Day Cup getting to a home semi-final was a big achievement for the club. No doubt we underachieved in the T20 Blast and as a team we were disappointed with the results but there is always next year.”

Hastings also sees Josh Tongue and Joe Clarke as future England players whose match-winning abilities could set a platform for a sustained period of success for the County in all forms in the coming years. 

Tongue, 19, overcame significant back surgery last year to claim his maiden five-wicket haul in the Championship win over Glamorgan in April.

Clarke, 21, one of the best batting prospects in county cricket, has already tasted international action having earned three call-ups to England Lions squads and featured in the 2014 Under 19 World Cup.

Hastings added: “Worcestershire have got an enormous amount of talented players but probably the stand-out for me would be Joe who has all the attributes of an international star and the game to succeed at the next level.

“Josh has also impressed me with his pace and swing and ability to bowl through tough periods and niggles.

“He could be a star for England as well.”