Colin de Grandhomme can’t wait to return for his second season with Birmingham Bears – and is aiming to blast the Bears towards “going one better” than last year.

Big-hitting Black Caps star De Grandhomme was a major force in Birmingham’s excellent 2017 Vitality Blast campaign which culminated in a runners-up spot on another thrilling Finals Day at Edgbaston.

The ultimate prize eluded the Bears as Notts Outlaws overcame them in the final. But De Grandhomme, fresh from a strong winter back home, during which he struck a dazzling maiden Test century off 71 balls against West Indies in Wellington, believes the Bears are strongly-placed to challenge hard in 2018 to reclaim the trophy they won in 2014.

“I’m really excited to be coming back to the Bears,” he said. “Last year was really good fun with a great bunch of lads and we did well to reach the final. But we are all geared up towards going one better this year.

Colin goes BIG vs Northants Steelbacks

It was awesome to win the quarter final away at Surrey with all those fantastic Bears fans in full voice at The Oval


“We got better the longer the group went on last season and it was awesome to win the quarter final away at Surrey with all those fantastic Bears fans in full voice at The Oval. Then the Finals Day atmosphere at Edgbaston was definitely up there with the best atmospheres around the world. Finals Day is special and I just want to be part of another one.”

With De Grandhomme back alongside fellow New Zealand stars Grant Elliott and Jeetan Patel the Bears will be strong contenders to reach their fourth Finals Day in five years. But it is not all about the overseas stars with the likes of young guns Ed Pollock, Adam Hose, Dom Sibley and Aaron Thomason all putting in match-turning performances last season.

“The Bears have some really good young players coming through and lots of the young guys stepped up in big moments last season,” said De Grandhomme. “They will only be better for that experience and I am really looking forward to playing alongside them again.

“The winter has been good for me and it was nice to tick off some goals like the Test century along the way. Another big goal for me is to win the T20 with the Bears – hopefully this year!”