WORCESTERSHIRE all-round ace Ed Barnard will remain at New Road this winter to work on increasing his bowling pace among other areas.

Bowling coach Matt Mason believes it will be beneficial to Barnard's potential England prospects.

The supporters’ association player of the year has spent two of the last three winters in Australia playing grade cricket for Queanbeyan and Scarborough respectively.

But during this close season the 21-year-old will be put through his paces at the County’s headquarters and at Malvern College when the players report back in mid-November.

Barnard picked up 47 County Championship wickets in 2017 in addition to scoring nearly 600 runs.

Mason said: “Barny has decided to stay here and get stronger because we believe he has got the talent to play at the next level (England) and to do that he probably needs to be a little quicker through the air.

“He will be doing some more strength work and work with me over the winter.

"We are going to try to find that (pace) for him which will make him even more of a formidable player for us.

“I think it is important he does that because he is not the tallest — not the 6ft 5ins giant you often see running around.

“He is very skilful and if we can add an extra yard of pace to that it becomes a very tough proposition for batsmen.

"He needs to be able to play on different surfaces, especially if he wants to play up a level.

“Is he best with the new ball or first change? I honestly believe Barny can do either.

"He is one of those guys who is naturally talented and can do anything. Anything you throw at him, he will do it well.”