NEW head coach Kevin Sharp says Worcestershire’s annual pre-season visit to Abu Dhabi is “priceless” in terms of their preparations for the new campaign.

The County are flying out tomorrow for an 11-day training camp which will also incorporate a two-day game versus Cambridge University and a 50-over match against a UAE XI.

It is the fifth successive year that Worcestershire have included such a trip as part of their plans for the challenges ahead during a six-month season which starts at the Ageas Bowl against Hampshire on April 13.

New County CEO Matt Rawnsley and the full new-look set-up of Sharp, head bowling coach Alan Richardson and second XI coach Alex Gidman will also be present alongside skipper Joe Leach and the squad.

Sharp said: “It is priceless for me (the benefits of the training camp). The indoor surfaces we play on (at Malvern College) bounce and are quite quick. Those are not the surfaces we get in April in England.

“It’s a bit of a transition really. You get the transition of the indoor practice to grass wickets and fielding and work on both white and red-ball cricket in Abu Dhabi.

“We’ve used it a bit more during the last year as a practice camp rather than playing a lot of matches.

“However, there will still be a 50-over game. It may well be a UAE team in a 50-over game and then we are playing two days against Cambridge University right at the end of the trip for red-ball practice where we will probably bat one day and bowl one day.

“There is some match-play at the end of the trip but what we’ve got to remember when we get back is it’s still three-and-a-half weeks until the first Championship match so there is still a fair amount of time.

“But we have pre-season friendlies against Somerset at Taunton Vale (two days) and Gloucestershire at Bristol (three days).

"Then we’ve got the Leeds-Bradford MCCU game over Easter at the Royal Grammar School Worcester and we are only a week away from the Ageas Bowl.”