Worcestestershire Seconds will switch to white ball cricket when they launch their Second Eleven Trophy campaign tomorrow (Tuesday) against their Warwickshire counterparts at Blackfinch New Road.
The 50 over fixture has been moved from Barnt Green to offer the best chance of any play after the recent rain-hit weather and will get underway at 11am.
But Worcestershire Second Eleven Coach Alex Gidman believes the players will also benefit from the experience of playing at the County’s headquarters.
He said: “We have not played much Second Eleven Cricket so far this season because of the weather and playing at New Road gives you a better chance of that happening.
“But it is also great experience for the younger lads to play on the main county ground where hopefully they will be wearing the first team colours one day.
“It adds to the excitement of playing and hopefully members and supporters will take advantage of the opportunity of seeing the lads in action here at Blackfinch New Road.”
Worcestershire narrowly missed out on qualifying for the knockout stages of last season’s competition.
They won their opening four Group matches but then lost by eight runs to Durham and one wicket to Lancashire.
Gidman has been encouraged by the performance in the little longer form Second Eleven cricket possible so far against Somerset in a three-day friendly at Taunton Vale and in the opening rain-hit Championship opener with Warwickshire at Portland Road.
He said: “The lads over the last two games have applied themselves really well, trying to do the right things more often than not, so there have been some encouraging signs against two experienced teams in Somerset and Warwickshire.
“We are always going to try and learn, we are always going to try and move forward, and so far the lads have tried very hard to do that.
“Obviously, we’d like to win but I was very pleased with the approach and the attitude towards trying to win the game on the final day of the Championship match with Warwickshire.”
Both sides forfeited an innings to breath life back into the weather hit clash before Warwickshire chased down a 341 target in 80 overs.
But Gidman stressed the importance of the players learning from all sorts of different situations in match conditions in the months ahead this summer.
He said: “There is going to be a balance throughout the year. There are times when both teams want to play and that’s the best learning opportunity but at the same time we are not going to be reckless and do that every time.
“There may be times when we need to learn how to play long cricket but certainly the last day against Warwickshire was the right time to enter into a game.
“You can learn and take so many things out of different scenarios in second team cricket.
“We certainly want to avoid relaxed cricket. For example, having to bat for a draw, there is still an art to that. You still need to learn how to do that.
“If we are going to try and bat once in a game, what does it take in order to do that, to bat a long time and get a big total.
“There are lots of different skills that are needed and the last day versus Warwickshire was the right opportunity to put the lads under some pressure to try and win the game of cricket.
“We want to make sure we try and pick the best option for us to learn the most out of every game.”
Four players in Zen Malik, Adam Wiffen, Ross Whiteley and George Rhodes registered centuries in the games with Somerset and Warwickshire.
Gidman said: “It has been really promising. The lads have really applied themselves well to the wickets, really thought about what’s needed and from that point of view it’s been great.
“The young bowlers have also done very well as well comsidering the Somerset game was their first game because of the lack of pre season cricket.
“These lads are still very short of cricket and applied themselves and tried very hard which is all we can ask for as things stand.”