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Grant Elliott is already looking forward to leading the Birmingham Bears in the 2018 T20 Blast.

And the New Zealand ace admits that his job as Bears captain is made a lot easier by the “flexibility” of the squad at his disposal.

Elliott led Birmingham to Finals Day last season after the team recovered from a slow start to strike a momentum which carried them to third place in the North Group and then past Surrey in the quarter-finals.

In every tournament group stage there are probably two or three games in the group that are really tight, 50/50s, and it’s the teams that win those games that will succeed.

Grant Elliott

And he reckons a big factor in that success was that the Bears, far from reliant on one or two individuals, benefited from match-turning contributions by numerous players.

Seven Bears batsmen shared 13 half-centuries in the competition and seven topped 200 runs while five bowlers took ten wickets or more and 12 bowlers in all took wickets in the competition.

In the volatile environment of T20, where any batsman can fail or any bowler can get collared on any given day, it’s a huge help to a captain to know he has plenty of options.

“I think it was a real strength of ours that a lot of players put their hand up at vital moments,” Elliott said. “We had important contributions from a lot of guys which is what you need over a long group stage because it allows you flexibility with the team you pick.

“We have got a really strong squad and used a lot of combinations from that squad and that worked well for us because so many players came up with good contributions.”

And, importantly, some of those contributions came at the perfect time when the pressure was highest, which was very encouraging for Elliott.

“In every tournament group stage there are probably two or three games in the group that are really tight, 50/50s, and it’s the teams that win those games that will succeed,” he said. “We came through a lot of those 50/50 moments, like at Northampton where Aaron Thomason bowled that great last over, and winning games like that doesn’t just win you the game, it builds the belief and confidence that you can do it the next time too.”

Watch the Bears in 2018

The best value way to watch the Bears in 2018 is by purchasing a Season Pass at £77 (just £11 per game) for all seven T20 Blast North Group games at Edgbaston.

Please note that prices are due to increase after Christmas, so purchase your Season Pass now to see the Bears at the best price.

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Individual match tickets will not be available until March.

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