Chairman Fanos Hira says there is a greater expectation for Worcestershire CCC “to win things more regularly than in the past” and a belief that there is “sufficient talent” at Blackfinch New Road to achieve that goal.

Worcestershire won the Vitality Blast trophy for the first time last summer amidst great scenes of joy on finals day at Edgbaston.

Mr Hira says in his annual report that regaining a Division One spot in the Specsavers County Championship is a major aim for 2019 – and then to remain in the top flight on a regular basis.

He stresses the importance of continuing to develop players via the club’s “envied” Academy system BUT also attracting players where needed “to improve our competitiveness.”

The County have brought in Wayne Parnell and Riki Wessels on three year contracts from 2019 to 2021.

Mr Hira, in his annual report, writes: “Our playing performances in 2018 indicate how unpredictable sport can be.

“Whereas in 2017, we struggled to win a T20 game, in 2018 we thankfully couldn’t stop winning. This culminated in winning the Vitality Blast having attended our first final on a historic and memorable night.

“We also lost narrowly to Kent in the last over of the semi-final in the Royal London One-Day Cup at Blackfinch New Road.

“In contrast, our red ball performance was disappointingly not as good as our white ball cricket.

“Whilst at times we looked as though we were competing – and there were highlights such as beating Yorkshire at Scarborough and Lancashire at home – on balance we simply weren’t consistent enough and as a consequence we were relegated from Division One.

“Our aim in the coming year is to get promoted back to Division One and unlike in other years, to then consistently stay in that league.

“We have an expectation that we need to win things more regularly than in the past.”

Mr Hira added: “Our aim is not only to retain players – we are comfortable with the contractual positions for all our current players – but attract talent where necessary.

“Our focus will always be very much on developing our own players through our envied Academy and Pathway programmes.

“But we will tweak where necessary – as with Wayne Parnell and Riki Wessels – to improve our competitiveness.

“We are pleased to have re-signed our overseas players (Callum Ferguson and Martin Guptill) for 2019. We expect limited player movement for the coming season.

“The coaches and the executive are happy they have sufficient talent to do well.”

Mr Hira stressed: “Everyone’s focus is very much on improving the environment and culture here at Worcestershire CCC.

“We went through an extensive club review and changes in January 2018 that set expectations for all players and staff at Worcestershire CCC.”