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Bichel's Australian call-up worries Worcestershire

Andy BichelPhoto AllSport 2000 Tony McDonough

Worcestershire were left with plenty to ponder as their new overseas player, Andy Bichel, was called up to the Australian squad of 13 to play the West Indies. With an Ashes tour next summer and Bichel now part of Australia's Test plans, his availability for the county season must be in doubt.

Martin Horton, Chairman of Worcestershire's cricket committee, admitted the situation may require them to look for another overseas player.

"This is a worry to us," Horton said." We didn't expect Andy to be selected for his country even though he is a good bowler. At the time of signing him we thought there were at least five or six ahead of him in the pecking order.

"Now he is in their 13 for the Tests against the West Indies you have to worry about whether he will be available for us next season. We might have to look around for a last-minute replacement - but Australia won't be picking their tour party for England until February or March. We are conscious of the fact that we might lose him and we are thinking of one or two overseas replacements.

"The trouble is that there are so many little tournaments going on now which break into the English county season that make it difficult."