Carlos Brathwaite is "full of excitement" at the prospect of his first 2022 Vitality Blast season as Bears captain.

Brathwaite will lead the Bears throughout the Blast campaign, starting against Northants Steelbacks at Edgbaston on Thursday 26 May.

The West Indies ace made an immediate impact on and off the field during his first spell at Edgbaston last year. Brathwaite’s class and experience convinced Director of Cricket Paul Farbrace  to offer him the captaincy for 2022 and he was thrilled to take up that challenge.

“I know the Bears fans love the Blast and I absolutely share that feeling,” he said. “I am full of excitement about leading the boys in the tournament this year. It was a privilege for me to be involved last year. It was one of the quickest deals I have ever got sown up when my agent let me know that that the Bears were interested.

“Then this year Farby played a bit of a trick on me. I was sweating because I was waiting for this big phone call and  thought I might be getting bad news, but it was the call when he actually asked if I would take the opportunity to captain the team. That is a huge privilege. All my nerves turned to excitement and I am really looking forward to it and leading the Bears into a successful campaign.

“I really enjoyed my time at Edgbaston last season. The hallmark of a good dressing room is how welcoming it is and from the moment I went into the Bears I was accepted. All the guys welcomed me with open arms and we had a real honest chat before the season.

“What was pleasing for me was that we came out of that chat with a way we wanted to play. Then throughout the campaign you could see that everyone wanted to play out of their skin for the badge and that is the type of dressing room you want to be in. I loved that culture and me settling in so quickly was a real testament to the other guys.”

After the Bears start at home to Northants on May 26, they go straight into the thick of it with three games in four days. They travel to Derby the following day (Friday 27 May) before facing Durham at Edgbaston on Sunday 29 May, which will be part of a double header with Central Sparks against South East Stars.

The Friday-night Worcestershire Rapids derbies will see the Bears visit New Road on Friday 3 June before welcoming their old rivals to Edgbaston on Friday 24 June. They will then face a tough end to their group campaign with away games at Yorkshire and Lancashire on Friday 1 July and Sunday 3 July.

Their objective in 2022, to go one better than last season and reach Finals Day at Edgbaston.

“Our first target last year was to reach the quarter finals.” Brathwaite said. “We did that and there was a really good vibe about the team and it was unfortunate that we were without some players for the quarter final and there was a bit of a gap before the game so we lost a little bit of rhythm as a team.

“Hopefully this season we can take that momentum all the way. My target as skipper is to get the team to Finals Day. It is our home ground and we want to show up and show off there but a lot of things need to happen between now and then for that to happen.”

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