Director Of Cricket Steve Rhodes believes Worcestershire batsman Tom Fell has the potential to play for England and says "the time is right for him to have a big year."

Fell earned praise from many quarters – including the then Yorkshire head coach Jason Gillespie – after scoring 1,000 runs in Division One of the County Championship two seasons ago.

He then suffered his double outbreak of cancer before being given the all clear and returning to the Worcestershire side for the second half of last summer.

Fell quickly slotted back into his number three role to good effect and now Rhodes has high hopes of him for the 2017 campaign after he has spent the winter playing grade cricket in South Africa.

Rhodes said: "He is a real classy young player and is now a lot more experienced than he was three years ago.

"The time is right for him to have a big year and that's exactly what he will be looking to do, to be available all season long and hopefully put in some good numbers.

"He got 1,000 runs Division One but it was not a surprise to me that he did well because he is one of our better players.

"He has got a lovely calm nature and way of playing, is unflustered. He doesn't seem to be affected by pressure and those are really good attributes."

When asked if Fell can match the international achievements of other players at the club, Rhodes said: "He has got potential to definitely go a long way in cricket and play for England.

"He has got that potential to do that, definitely.

"All he needs to do is to put those numbers together consistently and do better than others that are challenging for it."