WORCESTERSHIRE CCC members will finally return to New Road for the first time in 20 months tomorrow when the Pears host Derbyshire in their LV=Insurance County Championship fixture.

It's been 618 days since spectators have been in the ground but now sports fans across the country are, slowly but surely, being let back in to support their teams.

Worcestershire opener Daryl Mitchell says it will be a "massive boost" to play in front of a watching crowd again.

“It will be great to have spectators back watching us play and a massive boost for the lads," he said.

“They were very much missed last year. It was quite surreal being at New Road, a place we all love playing at, without any supporters.

“It has been strange for the lads scoring a half-century or hundred or taking five wickets and having no one to acknowledge but your teammates. You certainly miss those faces as you come up the steps after the warm-up, giving a word of encouragement when you go out to bat or when you arrive in the morning.

“It’s a family club, and I’ve been fortunate to get to know a lot of members and supporters, and it is always lovely to see them in the morning and at the close of play.

“It will be brilliant to see a few familiar faces when the gates open for that first home Championship match later this week, and we will try as always to put on a good show for them.”

In keeping with government guidelines, a limited number of spectators will be permitted until June 21 when the hope is that more can attend.