It might be nearly a month still to the opening LV = County Championship match of the season against Yorkshire but cricket returns to New Road in just one week!

Worcestershire will entertain local rivals Gloucestershire at their headquarters from Wednesday March 25 to 27 as part of their preparations for the 2015 campaign.

The opening day will be a 50 over white ball match and then the two teams will participate in a two-day red ball contest.

It will be Worcestershire's first action at New Road since the memorable scenes which greeted their promotion-clinching triumph over Surrey last September.

County batsman Alex Gidman will have an early reunion with his former Gloucestershire team-mates after moving to Worcestershire on a two year contract at the end of last season.

Gidman scored a superb 145 to help Gloucestershire inflict on Worcestershire their only home Championship setback of last season in August.

Admission for all three days of friendly action will be free. The marquee will be open for members due to the Graeme Hick Pavilion being booked for functions. With the wicket at The View end of the square, the sports bar will open for coffee. The bar plus kiosk is also to open.

Worcestershire will then play three away friendlies.

They will take on local rivals Warwickshire at Edgbaston in a two-day game on March 30 and 31.

Then on April 2, 3 and 4 Oxford MCCU – county paceman Charlie Morris's former university – will provide the opposition at The Parks in what is a first class fixture.

The final pre-season encounter will be a two-day fixture with Northamptonshire at Northampton on April 7 and 8.

The Second Eleven will visit Loughborough MCCU for a two-day game on March 25 and 26 and entertain Somerset in a two day friendly at New Road on March 31 and April 1.

They will also take on the county's Academy side in a two-day match at Kidderminster on April 7 and 8 and have a four-day friendly with Middlesex at New Road from April 21 to 24.