WORCESTERSHIRE players returned to training this week with a fire in their belly, according to head coach Alex Gidman.

The squad is returning from being furloughed and have been going through their paces at Blackfinch New Road from Monday (June 23).

Adhering to social distancing, the squad has been put through its paces ready for a return to the game.

The Chestnut Marquee will be used as a temporary gymnasium while practice sessions will take place on wickets on the Blackfinch New Road square.

Head coach Alex Gidman said:"The group have been extremely patient in what has been a challenging time for everyone and are relishing the opportunity to start back and begin building up for some sort of cricket season later in the summer.

"I’m most excited for the players as it has been a very long time since they reported back initially for training in early November.

"Everyone will have learnt a lot about themselves during this period and I’m sure the lads will have a real fire in their belly to get going and to make the most of what is left of the season."

It is not known yet when counties will return to action after the ECB delayed the season twice.

A lot hinges on the success of England's "bio-secure" test series against the West Indies, which is due to get underway early next month.

Worcestershire Cricket Steering Group Chairman, Paul Pridgeon, said: “The players will be working under the current guidelines towards being as fully prepared as possible for if and when cricket is able to return in 2020.

“There is a real hunger and desire amongst the group – and indeed the whole club – to resume playing as soon as it is deemed safe to do so.

“By taking the players off furlough now, it gives everyone several weeks to work together as closely as allowed before any potential start.

“The lads have maintained an appetite and enthusiasm for training, even when having to do it on their own on a voluntary basis, and a togetherness which has continued to run throughout the entire club.”