Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes is expecting Worcestershire Rapids to receive "great support" when they launch their NatWest T20 Blast campaign in Friday's derby clash with holders Birmingham Bears at Edgbaston (6.30pm start).

Rhodes admits it is a tough start to the competition for the Rapids who will be bidding to try and qualify from their group for the third time in four years.

But he is confident the Rapids can count on substantial backing from their own fans as they make the switch from red ball to white ball cricket for the first time this season.

Rhodes said: "It is always a great atmosphere up there and there is a massive rivalry between us and Warwickshire.

"We get good backing in those full house matches because there are a lot of people in the Black Country and in the north end of Worcestershire who turn up at Edgbaston and give us some great support.

"Friday's game at Edgbaston is a tough start. We'd have gone in many ways from a bit of sleepy four-day cricket and the tourist game to the cauldron of 15,000 plus people and the excitement and fireworks that goes on for T20 cricket.

"It is going to be a bit of a culture shock to us but that could work against Warwickshire. It will be a good occasion and hopefully the pressure will get to Warwickshire.

"It might have been better for us to have a game first before we got to that one and also we are still unsure as to the availability of Colin Munro.

"A couple of reasons why it would have been better for us for that Warwickshire game to be slightly later. But we'll take it and hope the pressure increases on Warwickshire."