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Jim Troughton has probably forgotten more about derby matches than most of us will ever know. He’s seen the rise and growth of our domestic T20 tournament, which gives him some unique insight into coping with pressure and performing in front of the large crowd that our derby games attract. As a Bear, Jim has been a player, club captain and is now the team’s fielding coach. We managed to sit down with Jim andhave an open and unedited conversation about the Bears vs. Rapids game.

Troughts, you have plenty of experience against our local rivals down the M5. What stands out as your high and low points against Worcestershire in T20 cricket?

My best and worst derby memories came in the same year. Back in 2014, I remember we were annihilated in the first fixture at New Road. They knocked off our total in 14 overs or something like that, it was early on in the competition and were well off the pace. I remember Colin Munro kept playing air guitar every time he hit a four, which was incredibly frustrating. We got turned over that night, we didn’t enjoy getting beaten by them and it really hurt us. A few games later we started to find a bit of form and when we came to play them in the return fixture back at Edgbaston we had a bit of momentum behind us. They set us a fairly decent target of 170-odd, but we came out and absolutely dominated them. We won by 5 wickets or something like that. I think that night we saw the start of something special in our squad and I really feel like it was the turning point in our T20 season. We managed to sneak through the group stages and the rest is history. Also, no one probably remembers this, but Jeets played the air guitar when he got Munro out. Looking back on it now, it was a hell of a night!

Over the years, which players from Worcestershire have you wished were wearing a bear on their chest rather than playing for the opposition?

Well in the current set-up you immediately look at someone like Moeen Ali, he’s a Bear really. But over the years Hicky (Graeme Hick) was a player that would have made any team special. My first memory at Worcester, although not T20, was making my Championship debut and the first thing I did in that game was bowl at Hick on 185* so that was a bit of a baptism!

Looking forward to the 27th May who do you think the danger men are for Worcester this year?

If Moeen is playing he’s certainly one for us to keep quiet as is their overseas signing Mitchell Santner who is a canny spinner. Worcestershire have always been good at recruiting overseas players in all formats; Ajmal, Zaheer Khan, Colin Munro and Bichel. They’ve had some great players over the years and they marry up their way of playing with some very good overseas signings, which makes them a dangerous team.

Read more…

Read the full interview in the new T20 Blast edition of Beyond the Boundary (Issue #66) which will be available in the club shop later this week. All Season Pass holders and Members will have a copy delivered directly to their door in the next couple of days.

Get Bears vs Rapids T20 Blast Tickets

Our next game is the massive local rivalry between Bears and Rapids. This game is always on of the highlights in our T20 calendar. Once again we’re delighted to be offering FREE admission for all Under 16s and our advanced sales window is now open, meaning you can save £4 on match day tickets when you buy online.  To secure your tickets please click here.