Worcestershire's players have resumed their winter programme after the festive break with the emphasis switching to developing their cricketing skills after two months of concentrating mainly on Strengthening and Conditioning ( S and C) work.

The County players who have remained in this country for the close season have reconvened at the customary winter training base at Malvern College – although S and C will continue to be an important part of the agenda under coach Ross Dewar.

New skipper Joe Leach, senior professional Daryl Mitchell, keeper Ben Cox, opener Brett D'Oliveira and middle order batsman Ross Whiteley are amongst the players who will be put through their paces.

It will be all systems go on honing their skills before the pre-season tour of Abu Dhabi gets underway in early March.

Director Of Cricket Steve Rhodes said: "Cricket-wise, we start cranking it up in January at Malvern College.

"We've got quite a few batters who are around this winter so it will be really good to work hard at their batting skills for all formats.

"That is the thing about cricket these days. When I played, we had a 40 over game and a four-day game – and a three-day game before that.

"Now you've got a 50 over game, 20 over game and a four-day game so they are completely different and what comes with that is different skills so we need to develop those skills.

"Mase (assistant coach Matt Mason) has put the winter programme together and we will be building up to the pre-season tour of Abu Dhabi."