Joe Leach has highlighted the importance of Worcestershire CCC's winter work and current pre-season tour in preparing for the new campaign.

The County's players went through a third day of warm weather training in Abu Dhabi today ahead of tomorrow's (Tuesday's) T20 match with Essex at the Zayed Nursery Ground.

Leach is full of praise for the programme undertaken by the players during the past few months at Malvern College.

But the all-rounder says the 11 days spent in the UAE – including five days cricket – is also invaluable.

Leach, Worcestershire's Players' Player Of The Year, said: "This winter has been structured really well.

"I've done a lot of really good, hard work and had a lot more one to one time with the coaches.

"Obviously being inside a sports hall, the four walls do seem to close in a little bit as you get closer and closer to pre-season.

"But the pre-season tour is important for us as a squad. It's the first time we've all come together in six months.

"It's the first time we can really set up goals for this season and set the tone for how we want to go about our business.

"It is important and I think the last two years have shown we've been on tours and we've started well – and it is up to us to make sure we do the same again."