The Edgbaston Press Box can be a quiet affair. Journalists type away, players and agents meet, and Warwickshire staff work under the perfect backdrop of red-ball cricket.

No one is a stranger. New faces are welcomed and during the long hours of the summer months, mutual friendships and acknowledgements are formed.

But on Monday, during the second day of the Northamptonshire fixture, an old friend returned. With dark, heavy clouds swamping Edgbaston, play seemed to be coming to an end, but a Warwickshire legend and familiar face took a seat on the top row and lit the room.

Andy Moles hasn’t changed. His young face, reminiscent of the 90s success remains, as does the beaming smile when he talks about his beloved Bears.

“I’ve been back a couple of times since the place was upgraded and it’s a fantastic stadium,” said Moles. “My mate and roomie Tim Munton and my benefit chair Tony Finch were coming down, and as a Life Member, I get the opportunity to come into the Chair’s Lounge which is a great honour. I wanted to come and spend some quiet time, it’s peaceful here, and I can reminisce about what’s happened before.”

Whilst the exterior has been rebuilt, Edgbaston will always be ‘Moler’s’ happy place.

A homegrown Bear and universally popular throughout the game, Andy became a bedrock of Warwickshire’s success. Scoring over 20,000 runs between 1986 and 1997, he showed great skill and courage during an era dominated by the fastest bowlers that county cricket has ever witnessed.

In an old interview with Brian Halford, the right-hander admitted that he often felt “bulletproof” whilst counting stars of the game such as Allan Donald, Shaun Pollock and Brian Lara amongst his peers.

No wonder that warm, fuzzy feeling always returns when he enters through the gates.

“Oh, 100%,” added Moles, when asked if he gets the emotions flooding back. “I was so fortunate to play in a great team. People ask me for my fondest memories and it isn’t about scoring hundreds, or even double hundreds. It was just being a member of a great team, who supported each other and became very successful, which was the reason for it.

“I couldn’t make the 25-year reunion of 1994 because of my then commitments to Afghanistan Cricket as Director of Cricket, but I’d love to be involved in anything that’s on the horizon. We worked hard, played very hard and we enjoyed ourselves off the field!

“Under the leadership of Dermot, and Tim, who took over the four-day side, we got the balance right. We had a group of players who played for and respected each other, but most importantly celebrated each other’s success. If someone got a hundred, or a 5-fer, in the dressing room they were valued. That’s what team sport is all about.

“Unfortunately, I came to the semi-final and the Bears didn’t have their best day, and I’m here today, but all teams have their ups and downs. We certainly experienced them! Everyone talks about how well we played, but we also had times when things didn’t go well.

“I wish good luck to the coaching staff and players, who move forward and get stronger and I’ll continue to watch from afar.”

Moles is hoping to return for the final game of the season against Somerset and will likely pop into the Tom Dollery Lounge at some point.

Now based in South Africa, the Solihull native, who will be in the UK for a month or two, will also look to visit another stomping ground in Moseley CC – this year’s Birmingham League Champions who secured the title in a dramatic final day.

“Since the amputation – you can read Andy’s story here – there has sadly been a shortage of work, so I do a lot of stuff in schools in South Africa,” Moles concluded. “I am closing in on retirement age, so maybe I enjoy moments like this.

“It was a fantastic achievement for Moseley and they’re a good club. I’d have liked to spend more time down there, but I look forward to seeing them over the next week or two. Well done to everyone involved.”

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