FIRST-team coach Alex Gidman advocated the benefits of Worcestershire’s pre-season tour of Abu Dhabi.

The county participated in three 50-over games against Somerset, Essex and Warwickshire in addition to a two-day red ball game versus Essex while away at the overseas training camp.

The match action was combined with five days of warm weather training before the squad landed back in England on Wednesday.

After a couple of days rest, they will resume practice ahead of the three-day clash with Warwickshire at Edgbaston beginning today (11am).

Gidman said: “It was a good tour. The lads worked extremely hard. We got a lot of fatigue in the legs which is what we needed to do, to get accustomed to matches as quickly as possible.

“The lads trained really hard, really pushed themselves, and we had three really good work-outs in one-day cricket and a really good two days against Essex.

“All in all, a successful trip and one I’m sure we will get the benefits from over the coming month or two.

“My intention was for everyone on the tour to have a really good run-out. We had a couple of lads who struggled with a couple of niggles and a couple of guys who weren’t fit enough when we started so their tour looked a little bit different.

“But on the whole I wanted to give everyone a good opportunity and we were fair with the way we distributed the games.”

Meanwhile, Ben Cox and Brett D’Oliveira have been appointed new vice-captains in red and white-ball cricket respectively for 2019.

Wicket-keeper Cox will be number two to skipper Joe Leach for the County Championship campaign and any other first class action.

D’Oliveira will be second in command to Leach during the Royal London One-Day Cup and for the Vitality Blast to Moeen Ali.

Gidman has named a 12-strong squad for the two-day practice match across today and tomorrow.

Worcestershire will bat for the full 90 overs today and then bowl the entire day tomorrow – a format used during the game with Essex in Abu Dhabi.

If one side is bowled out, the openers will return and continue until stumps.

The two sides will then meet in a 50-over game on Thursday with play starting on all three days at 11am.

They also faced each other in a 50-over contest in Abu Dhabi which Warwickshire won by three wickets.

In the two-day game starting tomorrow, D’Oliveira will captain Worcestershire and Alex Milton will keep wicket.

There is free entry on all three days for all supporters who are advised to use the Tom Dollery Members’ Lounge as the David Heath Suite will be closed.

Worcestershire: Mitchell, Fell, D’Oliveira (c), Dell, Wessels, Whiteley, Milton (w/k), Barnard, Tongue, Morris, Brown, Finch.