Hello everyone. I hope you are keeping safe and well at this very strange time and coping as well as possible.

For all of us in cricket, April is usually a very special time with the start of a new season and a chance to get out there and play and watch the great game and catch up with familiar faces we haven’t seen for months. Not this year, unfortunately. And ironically the weather has been great – normally, it’s a case of two or three sweaters on for the opening games of the season.

The current lockdown is tough for everybody in the country with a lot of worry around but it’s also important to remember that the situation has also brought out so much goodness from communities and shown how many fantastic people there are around. The brilliance of the NHS goes without saying and it is really inspiring to see and hear of so many people around the country  helping and supporting each other. I am proud that Edgbaston is making a real contribution with its use as an NHS staff testing centre.

The great Bears family has really pulled together. I know how much the players and coaches have enjoyed talking to members on the phone in our #MakeThatCall project during the last few weeks. We would love to be out there playing cricket for you to watch but it was great to at least catch up on the phone. We have really enjoyed it.

It is a massively frustrating time for the players, of course. This is the time of year that all our work is geared towards but, in a way, as players, we are luckier than most. It is five weeks since we trained as a group, but we can get out and run and we can train in our gardens. We are staying as fit as possible so that whenever cricket resumes we will be ready. There is always so much eagerness to get playing in April. Imagine how much there will be when we do finally get out on the field this year.

It is quite a strange start to my time as captain. Last Sunday I would have led the Bears out at Edgbaston for the first time with great players like Jeetan Patel, Ian Bell and Tim Ambrose in my team. I thought about that prospect a few times during the winter and felt so proud and excited. Hopefully it will happen later this year. What a special day it will be when cricket is back.

Thank you all for your continued support of our great club. On behalf of all the players, please take care and stay safe. Hopefully see you really soon.