It’s only two weeks until county cricket returns – and Club Captain Joe Leach says Worcestershire CCC players are itching to return to action.

The Worcestershire players reported back for training within the current social distancing guidelines at Blackfinch New Road three weeks ago.

They then continued their build up at Kidderminster for two weeks during Pakistan’s spell at Blackfinch New Road before returning to their headquarters this week.

But the 29-year-old said the opportunity to train again at Blackfinch New Road and Chester Road was a welcome tonic for everyone.

Leach said: “To be back out on the grass and in the nets, having a bat and a bowl, on our own ground and at Kidderminster felt fantastic.

“It’s been a challenging period for everyone at the club with the severe winter flooding followed by COVID-19 which sadly has claimed so many lives and puts everything into perspective.

“However, the lads are itching to start playing again after such an elongated period of training which started back in early November at Malvern College.

“You gear up through the winter period for being ready to hopefully fire on all cylinders in early April. We have put a lot of emphasis on red ball work from earlier than normal which everyone bought into.

“But the lads have been excellent in continuing the voluntary training of the past two-three months, showing that discipline to do what is required on their own to stay as fit and prepared as possible.

Leach said: “We are all determined to show a big improvement in red ball cricket. We got off to a good start last season by winning the first two County Championship games but then struggled to fire on all cylinders for the complete four days of games.

“We played a lot of good cricket but paid the price for those spells, sometimes lasting only an hour, mini-sessions, where we lost a lot of wickets or lost control with the ball. We need to try and produce the good stuff for the whole four days.”