WORCESTERSHIRE are returning to Abu Dhabi in March for an extended two-week period which will include action against county opposition in preparation for the 2019 season.

The County will fly out on March 6 and are planning to combine warm weather training with participating in a one-day tournament and playing a two-three game.

They will return home on March 20 and feature in seven days of warm-up action in this country before the Specsavers County Championship Division Two opener against Leicestershire at the Fischer County Ground starting on April 11.

Somerset and Essex are among the counties who are confirmed to be in the UAE at the same time as the County.

It will be the sixth year in a row that the County have undertaken such a tour and it is has become an integral part of their pre-season plans.

Worcestershire CEO Matt Rawnsley said: “We will be returning to Abu Dhabi for a slightly more elongated period from March 6 to 20.

“The only downside last year was we didn’t have any county opposition out there at the same time.

“This year there will be a few other first-class counties out there so we will have a full county one-day tournament and probably play one of the sides in a two or three-day game as well.

“We will also probably take a few more players because our staff is growing and it’s the right thing to do.”

Worcestershire will then re-acclimatise to English conditions by facing Warwickshire in a three-day game at Edgbaston from March 26 until 28 and then taking on Gloucestershire in a one-day encounter at Blackfinch New Road on April 1.

The three-day match with Cambridge University at Fenners from April 5 until 7 will conclude the build-up programme.

Rawnsley said: “It was a shame last year that we built a huge amount of momentum on the Abu Dhabi tour and then we couldn’t play for three weeks because of the weather.

“When we come back we’ve got a couple of friendlies, the university game against Cambridge and then into competitive cricket which will be fantastic.”