Worcestershire are now fully in the swing with their winter fitness programme with assistant coach Matt Mason admitting the goal is to have the players in the "best possible shape" physically for when they turn their attention fully to cricketing matters in the New Year.

The squad reported back on November 3 and are now slowly but surely being put through their paces by the club's vastly experienced fitness and conditioning coach Ross Dewar.

Then it is in January that the players will focus on the cricketing skills in the nets at Malvern College ahead of the return pre-season trip to Abu Dhabi from March 4 to 14.

Mason, who is also the county's fast bowling coach, said: "Until the Christmas period, the focus is predominatly strengthening and conditioning.

"The guys will tend to split up into batting and bowling groups because each discipline requires a different kind of fitness and strength.

"We are very lucky to have someone like Ross Dewar here who has had 15 years of cricketing experience and knows exactly how to tailor a programme to suit all of our individuals.

"They have started with simple fitness testing to find out where everyone is as a base and then they have goals and targets they need to reach until the Christmas period whether they be strength, aerobic fitness, all those kind of things.

"They start off doing three days a week and then that will build up to four.

"The idea is when they report back on January 5, the guys are in the best physical shape they could be for when we start cricket in the New Year."