Worcestershire have been forced to think again over one of their planned overseas signings for the coming summer.

It now looks likely that Australian Test fast bowler Nathan Bracken's international schedule has become too complicated to enable him to fit in a season of county cricket.

Worcestershire are still talking to the man from New South Wales to find out the full extent of his unavailability, to see if an acceptable compromise cannot be reached. But they are expected to have to turn to a 'Plan B', and a final decision is due within the next few days.

Bracken's fellow Australians, Michael Kasprowicz and Mike Hussey, have already had to turn their backs on contracts with Glamorgan and Durham this summer due to their increased international workload.

Bracken himself is now expected to let Worcestershire down for a second time, having initially been lined up to fill last season's early-summer slot prior to the ill-fated arrival of Shoaib Akhtar.

That was a role finally taken up by Sri Lankan left-armer Chaminda Vaas, who was both popular in the dressing room and a success on the pitch, helping the county to win four of their first seven County Championship matches. Vaas is again believed to be one of the names in the frame if Worcestershire do have to look elsewhere.

Mark Newton, the county's chief executive, said: "We're still planning a further few days of discussion and nothing has been decided yet but we do always plan for such eventualities and we have something up our sleeve if things don't work out for us with Nathan.

"Really, the problem has only arisen as Nathan has been a victim of his own success. Both he and Phil Jaques, our other overseas signing, have had a fantastic season back home in Australia this winter and that has inevitably led to more international calls.

"But, whatever happens with regard to Nathan, I should point out that this does not affect Phil Jaques.

"His contract with us is still cast in stone and we're expecting to have him here for the Surrey game on May 17."

That would mean Jaques missing Worcestershire's first two Championship fixtures and, if he is here in time for that four-day trip to TheOval, he would then make his home debut at New Road against Durham in the Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy the following Sunday.

As for Worcestershire's England contingent, skipper Vikram Solanki and vice captain Gareth Batty are due to end their involvement with the one-day squad on April 15 and that gives the pair a week to return to England and prepare for the county's opening match of the season, against Nottinghamshire in the C&G Trophy at Trent Bridge on April 23.