WORCESTERSHIRE are on the look-out for new players with a batsman being their main priority.

Their search is to be stepped up after missing out on two players they have been tracking recently.

The duo have not been named but one is believed to have been Yorkshire's 22-year-old Matthew Hoggard who has decided to stay with the Tykes.

Worcestershire's other target is understood to be moving to another county.

"We are aware we are going to be short of batsmen at the start of next season so obviously a batsman would be our priority," said cricket committee chairman Martin Horton today.

The availability of Elliott Wilson, Worcestershire Supporters' Association's 1999 uncapped Player of the Year, and Ryan Driver will be affected at the start of next term because of their university commitments.

The departure of all-rounder Tom Moody, whose overseas spot next year will be filled by Australian pace ace Glenn McGrath, adds to the County's need to boost their batting personnel.

"We are always on the look-out," said Horton, who pin-points the County's low tally of batting bonus points during the summer -- only 18 -- as a major reason for them failing to finish in the Championship top nine.

They needed to secure a top nine spot to clinch a place in the first division when the competition is split next year. In the end they had to settle for 15th place.

Horton said the County would be expecting a greater in-put of runs from their established batsmen next season, but feels that McGrath and the rest of the bowling department will make Worcestershire a side to be feared.

Although they had the lowest number of batting points there was only one other county, Durham, who claimed more bowling bonus points.

The County are also planning to offer six-week trials periods at the start of next season to three young players still to be decided.