WORCESTERSHIRE’S players must put their promotion celebrations on hold as they pursue the County Championship Division Two crown against Durham tomorrow.

Joe Leach, in his first season as the County’s captain, said: “I’m very happy at the moment but it’s a bit of a weird feeling.

“We want to win the game and make sure we are crowned champions. That is important to us all.

“It’s been a great effort with predominantly a group of home-grown lads with a couple of exceptional overseas players.

“I think I spoke at the start of the year and said it’s about time we delivered.

“We’ve had our maturing phase and now we want results.

“Luckily we’ve managed to do that this year.

“Eight wins so far speaks for itself and if we do finish the job then we probably deserve to go up as champions.”

County director of cricket Steve Rhodes said: “It is a lovely feeling but it is quite strange because we are still in mid-game and generally in the past when we’ve been promoted it’s been at the end of the match and finding out results elsewhere.

“We are delighted but we’ve got one day to go in the season now and it will really cap it off if we can win this game and finish as champions.

“I think that means so much to the boys.

“We are very proud to go up but we’d love to go up and say ‘We were champions’.

“There are 10 academy players in this game with only (Ravichandran) Ashwin being an international.

“That shouldn’t take anything away from some of the quality of cricket our home-grown local lads are producing.

“We’ve had to play above our station a lot in the summer to beat some of these teams and Joe, who has done a magnificent job in his first year as captain, and the boys should take a lot of credit for that.”