FLOOD-HIT Worcestershire will start their County Championship home programme at Kidderminster Cricket Club.

Blackfinch New Road, sited alongside the River Severn, has been submerged by two floods already this year and will require a major clean-up operation when the current high water levels fall.

So Kidderminster's Chester Road base will stage the Division Two home opener against Sussex, who could not switch the fixture, from Saturday, April 25.

The County played two Championship games at Kidderminster at short notice last year against Sussex and Derbyshire due to summer flooding.

"Both away teams were complimentary of how Kidderminster Cricket Club coped and we were also very appreciative," County chairman Fanos Hira said.

"They have been excellent partners and we're delighted to have extended and deepened our relationship with them for 2020 and 2021."

The County headquarters has been under water for 65 days since last October.

Worcestershire begin their Championship campaign against Middlesex at Lord's on Sunday, April 12.

All-rounder Ed Barnard says the players will strive to establish early-season momentum in red-ball cricket after struggling for the last two years.

Barnard feels consistency is key to hopes of success as the club gear up for two months of four-day cricket to launch the campaign.

He said: “Is it important to start with momentum? Definitely.

"Our red-ball cricket has been disappointing for the past couple of years. We make no bones about it.

“But if we can hit that first game really hard and get off to a good start — and a lot of training this season has been red-ball emphasis — you can get up a head of steam and hopefully be up there challenging come the end of the season.

“We are good enough to be a Division One side. There is no doubt about that.

“We just need to put in more consistent performances — and put those performances in when it matters.

“If you start well it sets you up before you go into the white-ball cricket.

"We are a very strong white-ball side and want to continue that.”