Ian Bell is backing Warwickshire’s young guns to rise to the occasion against Surrey in the Royal London Cup final at Lord’s on Saturday.
In one of the domestic showpiece games of the season the Bears will be looking to the likes of Bell, Jonathan Trott, Jeetan Patel and Rikki Clarke, with their big-match experience, for match-turning contributions.
But Warwickshire’s progress to the final has also been heavily youth-assisted with important input from the likes of batsman Sam Hain and leg-spinner Josh Poysden.
Hain averages 66 in this season’s competition, his 528 runs including two centuries and three half-centuries. Poysden was a key component in the attack which defended targets against Essex and Somerset in the quarter and semi-finals, his three top-order wickets fatally undermining the former’s chase of 283 on Bank Holiday Monday at Edgbaston.
Bell has no qualms about how the younger players will handle the profile and pressures of a Lord’s final.
“The younger guys have risen to the occasion brilliantly in big games for us,” he said. “We wouldn’t have put them in there unless we were confident they could handle games like those and they have shown they can by playing a big part in our path to the final.
“Sam has had a great tournament all the way through and he played fantastically well in the semi-final under a lot of pressure. Josh has bowled very well too against batsmen coming hard at him.
“The final is a great opportunity for guys to go out and show everyone in England what they can do. It’s a big game and one that can put you on the map.”
Backed by a big following of Bears fans, Bell’s side will be desperate to lift the trophy at Lord’s but the captain knows they will have to be at their best to defeat a Surrey side which, like Warwickshire, boasts a potent mixture of established, big-game players and talented youngsters.
“Surrey are a fantastic side,” he said. “It’s one-all between the teams so far this season after the two championship games where we beat them at Guildford and they won at Edgbaston.
“We haven’t played a lot of white-ball against them in recent years because we are in different groups but that makes it all the more enticing as a match. They have got some powerful white-ball cricketers and we know we are going to have to be at the top of our game to win the trophy.”
Tickets for the Royal London One-Day Cup Final are priced from £30-£50 for adults and at £5 for juniors, with Warwickshire Members and supporters allocated the Edrich Stand and the Lower Tier of the Mound Stand.
Please click here or call the Lord’s Ticket Office direct on 020 7432 1000 to purchase.