STEVE Rhodes has pledged Worcestershire will not feel sorry for themselves following their ten-wicket defeat at Trent Bridge and the loss of Graeme Hick for almost two months.

Hick joins up with England tomorrow for the forthcoming World Cup and may not play again for his county until the fourth week of June.

Worcestershire skipper Tom Moody, who is in the Australian squad, is similarly affected.

And with Stuart Lampitt added to an extensive injury list after breaking a finger against Nottinghamshire, stand-in skipper Rhodes admits the county is up against it.

"We're short of players and we know that," said Rhodes, after Worcestershire had been beaten inside three days by Nottinghamshire.

"We know what the task is and it seems to get harder. We're already without Phil Newport and Reuben Spiring and the absence of Hick and Moody will do us no favours.

"Now we've hardly been helped by losing another major player, Stuart Lampitt, for two weeks.

"But the last thing we'll do is shy away from a challenge."

Which is what Hick and Vikram Solanki demonstrated at Trent Bridge when Worcestershire began the third day staring an innings defeat in the face.

Resuming on 54 for two, and still 191 runs adrift of Nottinghamshire's first innings total of 417, the pair took Worcestershire to within 13 runs of making the hosts bat again.

Their third wicket stand of 204 was ended when Hick, pushing tentatively forward to Mark Bowen, found the edge and was caught by wicketkeeper Chris Read.

Hick, who faced 174 balls and hit 13 fours, fell 11 runs short of the 104th century of his career.

His dismissal also sparked a collapse which meant it was last rites time for Worcestershire.

David Leatherdale went the very next ball and Solanki followed shortly afterwards, bowled by Vasbert Drakes nine short of the third century of his career. He hit 14 fours in his innings, facing 197 balls in the process.

Worcestershire never recovered from Hick's exit and slumped from 232 for two to 279 all out when Haynes was the last to go leaving Notts the simple task of notching the 35 they needed for victory.

Friday, April 30, 1999.