WORCESTERSHIRE will be returning to Abu Dhabi in March for a pre-season tour which will include five days’ action against Somerset.
Pears chief Alex Gidman confirmed the county will be flying out to the UAE for a seventh successive year on March 18 and returning on March 29.
The squad will be put through their paces in three days of practice sessions before initially taking on Somerset in a one-day red-ball fixture.
It will be followed the next day with two T20 matches and then a three-day game.
Gidman is looking forward to the players honing their skills through the warm weather training and then against last season’s County Championship Division One runners-up.
He said: “Somerset are one of the better teams in the country and it is always good to play these kind of quality sides in pre-season.
“It gives you a good gauge of what we are striving for in the build-up to the season.”
The tour is later in March than previous years, with Gidman keen to reduce the gap between returning from the UAE to the start of the domestic campaign.
He said: “I wanted to try and have the period from getting back to England until the first Championship game down to about two-and-a-half weeks.”
Worcestershire will return to action almost immediately on their return with three days against Warwickshire at Edgbaston from March 31 to April 2.
They will then travel to take on Loughborough MCCU from April 7 to 9 before the opening County Championship fixture against Middlesex at Lord’s on April 12.