FLOOD-hit Worcestershire will put waterlogged New Road to the back of their minds by embarking on a pre-season tour to Abu Dhabi in March.
The County's home ground is under several feet of water as the terrible weather continues to blight their preparations.
However, the 10-day trip to the Persian Gulf will provide some warm-weather training for the players, as well as a good standard of opposition to practice against.
Director of cricket Steve Rhodes is planning to cram eight days of cricket into the trip, before the players return home to continue their build-up to the new campaign with pre-season friendlies against Somerset (March 19-21), Gloucestershire (March 24 and March 26-28) and Glamorgan (March 31).
In Abu Dhabi, the intention is Worcestershire will play fellow tourists Derbyshire as well as two Twenty20 games against New Zealand, while games are also planned against a UAE Invitation XI and Afghanistan.
Prior to their departure for sunnier climes, the Worcestershire players will continue to train indoors at Malvern College.
Club officials hope the comprehensive pre-season schedule will leave Rhodes' men well prepared when the 2014 campaign begins with a four-day game against Hampshire at the Rose Bowl on April 6.