Warwickshire County Cricket Club Press Day
Today, Thursday 9th April, saw the Warwickshire Bears host their annual Open Day, where photos are taken and the players give interviews to journalists and sponsors. BURN’s very own Tom Brown, Matt Bullin and Daniel Tidey headed over to Edgbaston Cricket Ground to take part in this event, along with some journalists from BBC West Midlands and the England and Wales Cricket Board.
There were a few notable absentees from the photos captured today, those being Jonathon Trott, Ian Bell (both away with England), Jeetan Patel and new T20 signing and New Zealand captain Brendan McCullum.
We interviewed an array of Warwickshire’s stars, from the up-and-coming Sam Hain, to the Club Captain Varun Chopra (All interviews below). When asked about the impending arrival of the Kiwi skipper, the general consensus was that he would not only add a vast amount of quality and experience to the side, in and out of the dressing room, but also bring in bigger crowds to Edgbaston, as the Bears hope to retain their T20 crown.
Last season was nearly the perfect year for the Bears, winning the Natwest T20 Blast on home soil and coming runners-up in the LV County Championship (4-day format) and the Royal London One-Day Cup (50 over format). Although the squad know that last season will be hard to emulate, they always look to win trophies and the addition of Brendan McCullum will stand them in good stead in the T20 competition. Going one better in the other two competitions will be another aim within the club, even if some players don’t explicitly suggest that’s their target. With several key players, such as Ian Bell, Boyd Rankin and 19 year old Sam Hain all signing new long-term deals with the County, the Bears should be challenging the title in all three formats of the game for the next few years at least.
Personally, I think that the Bears will be competing for the title in each of the three formats they compete in this season, and will hopefully have what it takes to win at least one trophy this summer. As for personal performances, the England boys, Trott, Bell, Chris Woakes and (maybe) Boyd Rankin, will have seasons blighted by international call-ups and the Ashes, so it could be the perfect time for someone like Sam Hain to fill those places and really make a name for themselves. Hain made his debut last season and, after only a dozen games, ended the season as Warwickshire youngest ever player to score a century and a double-century. He is keeping his feet firmly on the ground, however, as he insists it is only a start, but now he needs to kick on this season and continue to improve and fine tune his skills.
Interview with Varun Chopra
Interview with Boyd Rankin
Interview with Chris Woakes
Interview with Laurie Evans
Interview with Tim Ambrose
Interview with Sam Hain