PREPARATIONS for this season are well underway, with the county's cricketers moving to outdoor training.

This week, Worcestershire's players are starting outdoor training at Kidderminster.

This rounds off more than four months of work since winter training began in November at Malvern College.

Now the squad is out practicing on grass and in the nets at Chester Road ahead of the season opener against Oxford UCCE at The Parks on March 23.

Assistant coach Alan Richardson said: “It has, once again, been a really beneficial winter, with plenty of work in all aspects of the game.

“The lads have worked on technical aspects and also been involved in plenty of competitive net practice as well as physical training to ensure their fitness is of a high standard.

“But, by the middle of March, they are ready to get back outdoors and practice, and it is another important aspect of the build-up to the season.

“It is essential for the bowlers to get the overs and miles into their legs off their full run-ups and the batsmen to spend time in the middle and feeling in good nick.

“With 11 days of warm-up cricket to follow, everything is geared up to making sure the lads are in the best possible place for the opening County Championship game.”

After returning from two months grade cricket in South Africa, Jack Haynes will be back training with the squad at Kidderminster.

In the club's annual report, chairman Fanos Hira wrote: "We played some outstanding cricket at times during the 2021 season but just ended up on the wrong side of the fine lines that often determine the outcome in professional sport.

"We saw some great resolve and character from players in difficult situations, including twice against the champions Essex, to earn honourable draws.

"We are in a good position to kick on and improve again, it is all about marrying up that good cricket we played in 2021."