WORCESTERSHIRE skipper Joe Leach has praised the "fantastic effort" of his teammates and colleagues as the county raised more than £13,500 for a children's hospice.

The county's senior squad, women's rapids, academy, coaches, support staff and officials all joined forces for a week-long event of 12 one-hour running sessions per day, totalling 1,008 kilometres.

Leach, who kicked off the "Rapids Relay" by running the first leg, said: "This was a great idea initiated by Alex Gidman (head coach) and everyone at the club really bought into it - players from all levels, coaches and support staff to the chairman, who also ran one of the stages.

“Most importantly it helped contribute towards such a worthy cause in the Acorns Children’s Hospice which is already a special charity to everyone at the club.

“These are difficult times for organisations which rely on support from people to help keep them going and our members and supporters have played a magnificent part in raising so much.

“Thank you so much to them for their donations and it has been a fantastic effort by everyone, it was great to see children, parents and supporters joining us in their own Rapids Relay.

“It produced even more of a togetherness between the whole Worcestershire CCC family of the squad, coaches, academy lads, women’s players, club officials and staff.

“It also gave a real extra incentive, buzz and competitive edge to those training runs we are currently doing at this challenging time when you would normally be playing cricket.”

The ‘virtual’ route mirrored the number of kilometres involved travelling to venues in the Rapids Vitality Blast North Group via Worcestershire-Warwickshire-Lancashire-Durham-Yorkshire-Nottinghamshire-Derbyshire-Leicestershire-Northamptonshire-Worcestershire.

This was completed in splendid fashion with a day to spare during the final hour long run on May 7, with donations topping £13,500 by Friday morning.

Elsewhere, discussions are ongoing as to when the cricket season can get underway, with England announcing their players will be returning to individual training.

The England and Wales Cricket Board announced the bowlers would be the first to return to training, being supervised by a coach, physio and, where possible, a strength and conditioning coach.

It is hoped the test series against the West Indies could get underway at the start of July.