DARYL Mitchell says his hunger for the game is as great as ever as he prepares for what he hopes will be his 18th season – albeit a shortened version – with Worcestershire.

There is increasing optimism that the county season, delayed until at least August 1 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will get the green light to begin but while the cricket world has patiently waited Mitchell has been busy as chairman of the Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA) during a challenging period for the game and following David Leatherdale’s decision to step down as CEO.

He signed a one-year contract extension during the winter to the end of the 2021 campaign when he will be approaching his 38th birthday.

“This will be my 18th season in total, I signed in 2003, had a University Scholarship 2003-2004,” said Mitchell.

“You just crack on, year on year, week on week, day on day. It’s been quite a long time but hopefully I’m still contributing and getting a few runs here and there.

“I’ve still got that hunger for the game. Absolutely. Certainly the batting side of it. I like scoring runs. I like contributing to wins. That’s the most important thing.”

Mitchell and the rest of the Worcestershire batting line-up struggled for runs in first-class cricket last season but the former captain is determined to bounce back if and when cricket resumes after the lockdown.

He said: “Last year, I see as a bit of a blip. I didn’t get as many runs as I would have liked. That’s fairly obvious and it was the same for the batting unit as a whole.

“I still managed three hundreds across a couple of formats. Batting can be difficult at times but from a personal point of view I’ve still scored 13,000 runs averaging 40 and 13 first-class hundreds in the last three years.

“Hopefully I will take a lot of confidence from my career and the amount of runs I’ve scored and trust my method, trust the way I go about things.”

Mitchell has relished his responsibilities with the PCA during this past winter.

He said: “My role as chairman is still the same but I had more of a hands-on role during the winter months with David Leatherdale leaving and it being a bit of a transition period for our new CEO.

“There has been a bit of a personnel change at the PCA so I filled a couple of holes in an executive role and was based at The Oval for certain days of the week.

“It’s been a brilliant experience to be quite heavily involved in the commercial side of things and the new standard contracts, county partnership agreements.

“I’ve been across a whole range of things really. It’s been a really exciting time and I have to pinch myself at times, having one-to-one meetings with Tom Harrison and various people at the ECB and first-class county CEOs.

“I’ve learned a lot of skills over the last few months really.”