WORCESTERSHIRE’S director of cricket Steve Rhodes is hopeful Shakib Al Hasan will be back at New Road next season.

The County chief has had informal contact with the Bangladesh skipper about a return to Worcestershire next summer and he says the world’s number one one-day international all-rounder is keen to come back.

Shakib shone during his two months at New Road with 35 wickets in eight LV= County Championship Division Two matches to help the County to promotion.

It is that form with the ball and his destructive ability with the bat that has prompted Rhodes to try and secure Shakib’s return for part of the 2011 campaign.

“Shakib is a quality all-rounder and fitted in well,” the County director of cricket said.

“We have spoken. We are keen and Shakib is keen, it all now depends on his availability.”

Bangladesh are to host Australia in April for two Tests and three one-day internationals before touring Zim-babwe in late July.

That would leave the 23-year-old free from mid-May until late July and again throughout September.

While the domestic fixtures are yet to be released, it is hoped they will be announced some time next week and that nine-week block is likely to appeal to the County chief.

Should the campaign mirror last term, it would allow Shakib to play several Championship matches and the group stages of the Friends Provident t20 tournament.

“I’m hoping that Shakib will be back at Worcestershire for some stage of next season,” Rhodes said.

But the director of cricket is not pinning all his hopes on Shakib’s return and is pursuing a number of other avenues.

“I have made a lot of enquiries for players already,” Rhodes said.

Meanwhile, the Worcestershire boss says he is pleased with how his side have begun their winter training programme after the players returned to their indoor base at Malvern College last month.

“The players had their one-on-one session yesterday and it is all going well,” he said. “Strength and conditioning coach Ross Dewar is happy with everyone.

“But the players have to remember just how tough next season will be. We had great spirit in the camp last season and we want to carry it on.

“We are probably a year ahead of schedule in terms of rebuilding the side after losing all those players in 2009. To be where we are is a fantastic achievement.”

The County have also announced their membership prices for next season with the adult premier member package priced £174 until January 31, 2011. Contact the club for further details.