Steve Rhodes says it will be a new experience for Worcestershire's players to be regarded amongst the leading candidates to gain promotion from Division Two of the LV = County Championship next summer.

But Worcestershire's Director of Cricket says such a high opinion of the County's chances also shows the respect the current set of players at New Road now command within the game.

Worcestershire were promoted in 2014 after being tipped in some quarters to finish bottom of Division Two but are now more highly favoured by some bookmakers.

Now the squad assembled by Rhodes has two years extra experience under its belt plus a year of playing top flight cricket and has earned a healthy respect after coming so close to staying in Division One.

Rhodes said: "That (being regarded as one of the favourites) will make a change because the last time we went up I think we were tipped to finish bottom of Division Two.

"For us to go down to Division Two, and then people may perceive us as one of the favourites to go back up, then that's other people respecting what we have got now.

"It's what we want. We want people to respect the quality of cricketers we do have, young cricketers especially.

"Added to that though, it is also time to produce. It's all about how you play out there and you get the points by how you play out there."