New Worcestershire Head Coach Kevin Sharp says the players are “ready” for the challenge of Specsavers County Championship Division One cricket.

Sharp is feeling optimistic about the battles ahead in 2018 and will take up his new role at Blackfinch New Road this week.

The former Yorkshire batsman-coach will inherit a still young but rapidly maturing squad who will be striving to establish themselves in the top flight.

Sharp said: “The challenge of playing in Division One and at the highest level is what the lads play the game for.

“They will be taking on the top sides in the country, it is a great challenge – and these lads are ready.

“We’ve got some great cricketers here and even the younger players have now played a lot of cricket.

“They have been getting better by the season and are ready for the challenge.”

Sharp cannot wait to get started in his new post after four years as Batting Coach-Second Eleven Coach.

He said: “I’ve enjoyed working here for the last four years. It was great for me to get back involved in the first class game.

“I love coming into work at New Road and if what I’ve got to offer helps everyone, then fantastic.”