Ian Bell can't wait for the 2020 season to belatedly begin - so that he can get on with "giving back" to his beloved Warwickshire.
Bell, who made his Bears debut in 1999, has signed a contract extension for next year and is relishing the chance to fully put a difficult 18 months behind him.
The former England batsman missed the entire 2019 season due to injury and then, back to fitness in April, shared the collective frustration at lockdown.
But with the season set to start on 1 August, Bell is as excited as the rest of the Bears squad by the prospect of at last getting out in the middle again.
“It was so frustrating when the season was due to start to be sat in the garden but not being able to play,” he said. “Now there is some light at the end of the tunnel with some championship and T20 coming up and we are all looking forward to it so much.
“It’s been a frustrating 18 months for me, last year in particular being injured, and then suddenly this year we were in a world not playing sport. It was frustrating having worked so hard to get fit – and then also we had such incredible weather in what would have been the start of the season.
“But hopefully now we are not far away from getting going and, having signed another contract, it’s nice to know that I’ll be out there for the Bears this year and next, hopefully helping to bring some more trophies to Edgbaston.
“I was delighted to sign another contract. I’ve never thought about playing for anyone other than Warwickshire. It wasn’t a hard negotiation. I want to play and they wanted me here.
“I was always adamant that, when the day came that I wasn’t playing for England anymore, I wanted to be at Warwickshire, giving back to the club that has given me everything. And I want to give back what I can until I can’t physically do it anymore.”Ian Bell
With former England team-mate Tim Bresnan freshly recruited, Bell believes the Bears can challenge hard during the truncated 2020 season and, hopefully, a full 2021 campaign.
“Things are shaping up really nicely for Warwickshire at the moment with Tim coming in and some really good young players coming through,” he said. “I will do all I can to try to add a little bit of experience and help the younger guys as much as I can.”