Warwickshire's Director of Cricket Paul Farbrace loves the way young players coming through at Edgbaston respect and admire past heroes at the Club and has challenged those young guns to now "create their own legends."
The Bears have just celebrated the 25th anniversary of the amazing mid-90s era which brought six trophies in just two seasons. The likes of Allan Donald, Dougie Brown, Tim Munton, Andy Moles and many others from that era are up in the Bears pantheon forever.
During the commemorations, it was clear how strongly the passion for the Bears still beats for all those players. It is a similar story with players who delivered success in other eras, like Dennis Amiss, David Brown and Lance Gibbs from earlier and, more recently, Ashley Giles, Rikki Clarke and Ian Bell.
That universal pride in being a Bear is a very special and powerful force, reckons Farbrace, and he is delighted to see it burning as fiercely as ever in the latest generation, led by Henry Brookes, Rob Yates, Ethan Brookes and Dan Mousley.
To those four, and others coming through the Edgbaston system, will the Bears look to as cornerstones of successes to come – and the Director of Cricket always loves it when he sees them chatting to, and learning from, their predecessors in the Warwickshire team.
“We want the current players to be talking about what the old players did,” said Farbrace. “Not having it hanging round their necks like a bit of a millstone, but in a positive way and I think that’s the perfect balance we have here.
“There is a danger that sometimes you can keep comparing. You can’t compare different eras, but what you can say is that this club has had some fantastic players and some fantastic teams and a lot of success and now it’s u to this current group to make their own history and create their own legends. We’ve got a lot of young players who are capable of doing that.”
And while those young players, led by Will Rhodes, one of the youngest skippers in the Club history, take responsibility for delivering the next era of success, the input of former Bears can still be significant, reckons Farbrace. He sees their knowledge as a resource very mucy to keep tapping into, as shown when Andy Lloyd and Paul Smith were invited along to present county caps to Rhodes and Olly Stone in August.
“We want former players to know that this club is always open to them,” Farbrace said. “We want them to come back to Edgbaston and talk to the current players and share their experiences and really feel part of the Club.
“In 2019 we had a fantastic dinner with all the former players and we have to make sure we keep inviting them in to keep the bridge between the present and the past. The present players need to know there is a great history to this Club and the former players need to know they are still very welcome.”
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