First Team Coach Alex Gidman has praised the “attitude and approach” of the Worcestershire CCC squad in adapting to a new-look winter programme

The players reported for duty at Malvern College in early November in contrast to previous close seasons when it was used primarily as a main base in the New Year.

There has been a greater pre-Christmas emphasis on batting and bowling with a red ball focus given that the first two months of the season will be purely County Championship cricket.

But Gidman, who is at the helm at Blackfinch New Road for his first full winter, has been delighted with the response of everyone as the countdown to the new campaign starts to gather momentum.

He said: “How has winter programme gone? It’s been really good. All credit to the players, they’ve been outstanding with their attitude and approach to the winter.

“We’ve gone through a period of change compared to previous years but they’ve adapted really, really well and just got their heads down and worked extremely hard.

“We did a lot of hard work before Christmas, some real hard yards particularly in terms of volume of batting and some technical work with the bowlers.”

Gidman said the emphasis has been on quality and quantity in terms of the work being undertaken.

He said: “We’ve upped it a bit (the amount of work) but put a real focus on the quality of the practice.

“Players understandably go crazy if you are doing things just for the sake of it.

“But we’ve put a real onus on the quality and the lads have responded really well and they are certainly providing the quality that we as coaches are asking for”

Gidman added: “Is the challenge to make the practice interesting and varied? One thing that has never been lacking with the group is the work ethic.

“They have had a wonderful attitude towards their work for donkey’s years.

“It is what it is. Cricket is about repetition. It is about taking enjoyment and satisfaction from doing the same things over and over again.

“Whether it is four-day cricket or T20, you’ve still got to repeats your skills over and over.

“That is very much the mindset of the players, and certainly the mindset that we have asked for, and we are all coming to terms with what that looks like individually and hopefully as a collective.”