Wicket-keeper Tim Ambrose is delighted to have extended his stay at Edgbaston.
Tim Ambrose is “absolutely loving” still playing for Warwickshire after overcoming pre-season fitness concerns to become one of the standout performers in the team in 2018.
Ambrose’s contribution to the Bears team has been substantial ever since he joined from Sussex in 2006 – and in 2018 as much as ever. He scored 656 championship runs at 34.53 and took 57 catches behind the stumps to help power the advance to the Division Two title.
As a ‘keeper, to me the term ‘solid’ is as big a compliment as you can get.Tim Ambrose
The 35-year-old’s form led to the offer of a contract for the 2019 season – and he was delighted to accept.
“I’m absolutely loving still being able to play for this great club,” he said. “When we played at Sussex late in the season I spoke to some of the guys and there was a bit of surprise that, of the team I played in there, I am the only one still going!
“There were concerns last winter but I put in a lot of work with the medical team who’ve been great. That work paid off, particularly with my keeping because I can only do that if my body allows me to. Staying fit and staying on the park is something that has been really important to me.”
As a batsman, Ambrose remains combative and productive. As a ‘keeper, meanwhile, he is solid – a description which can appear damning with faint praise but which he welcomes.
“As a ‘keeper, to me the term ‘solid’ is as big a compliment as you can get,” he said. “As a cricketer I’ve always aspired to be solid and consistent, taking my catches and contributing my share of runs. This year I was pleased with my keeping and, to a degree, with my batting. I got some runs early in the season which helped us get off to a good start, though I didn’t get the runs I would have liked in the second half. The pitches did a little bit and I struggled for form after the gap for the T20s.”
In 2019, Warwickshire will return to the championship Division One with an evolving squad containing numerous players either new or relatively new to it. Ambrose is excited by the prospect and proud to still be holding his own among the changing personnel around him.
“We have lost some guys and others are coming in or stepping up but that’s what happens in cricket and a big club like Warwickshire needs to be able to handle that,” he said. “That is the standard that we ask of ourselves.
“2018 was a good season in terms of players finding things out about themselves. Next year will be a completely different challenge and we will find out more. The games where we found the going tough last season were much more valuable than the ones we won convincingly. They are the ones you learn from.
“Results are very important at a big club like ours but you have to keep your eye on the squad as well and make sure success is sustainable. A squad has to keep evolving and that evolution does not happen overnight. It takes time and sometimes a bit of trial and error and some ups and downs and, while it’s great that we won promotion, the most important thing of all is that the overall trajectory is upward and guys are developing.”