Five former club captains made the final XI when Warwickshire fans cast their votes to name their best Club Bears XI, made up of home grown players, since 2000.

Home grown players have always been a vital element of the Bears squad, as much as ever recently with Henry Brookes, Rob Yates and Dan Mousley coming through to become important members of the first team group.

For the purposes of our poll, we imposed a cut off of players who played in or since 2000 as, without drawing the line somewhere, there would have been an almost endless list of players to choose from! Thank you to everybody who cast their votes…the players selected make up a pretty formidable side, particularly with the bat.

At the top of the order, it was a very tight three-way race between Michael Powell, Ian Westwood and Mark Wagh for the opening slots. Former captains Powell and Westwood just got the nod over the more expansive Wagh.

There was never any doubt about the identity of number three, Bears legend Ian Bell. Then at four and five come two men whose attractive batting won many a match for the Bears across all the formats over the years…Jim Troughton and Dominic Ostler.

Tony Frost, a multiple championship winner with the Bears, takes the wicketkeeping gloves and also provides more stickability to the batting.

Then come the all-rounders – two greats of different eras which overlapped. The off-spin and punchy batting of Neil Smith was a massive and often underrated influence on the Bears’ glory years of the mid-1990s. Chris Woakes, like Bell, grew from a ten-year-old boy in the nets at Edgbaston to a rock in the England teams.

Coventry has supplied plenty of high-quality cricketers down the years and one of these, Grant Thornton, joins the seam attack along with Rugby-born left-armer Darren Altree. Completing the seam armoury is Alan Richardson whose 644 wickets in his senior cricket career should surely have merited an England call-up at some point.

  1. Michael Powell
  2. Ian Westwood
  3. Ian Bell
  4. Jim Troughton
  5. Dom Ostler
  6. Tony Frost (wk)
  7. Neil Smith
  8. Chris Woakes
  9. Grant Thornton
  10. Darren Altree
  11. Alan Richardson

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