We're giving you the chance to choose which retro Bears shirt the club sells in the Store '94 next year and we tasked Brian Halford to look at the four shirts and their campaigns.
From Dermot Reeve to Darren Bicknell.
That’s how the newly-designed white-with-yellow-sleeves Sunday League kit began life at Edgbaston when Warwickshire took on Surrey in the Sunday League on May 7, 1995.
The day didn’t turn out too well for either Reeve, who hobbled off with a back injury in his third over, or for the Bears, beaten by 47 runs, but the array of colourful kits over the coming years was to carry some great cricketers to further trophies to follow up the sensation of 1994.
Following the treble-winning yellow design, which had been introduced in 1993, the 1995 design, only the second coloured shirt worn by the Bears, also remained for ’96 and in both seasons the Bears challenged hard for the trophy.
In ’95, they were pipped into second place by Kent on run-rate. In ’96, their campaign was launched by maiden Sunday League tons for Neil Smith and Nick Knight in the first two games before they eventually finished fourth in the table.
But there was no near miss in 1997 when the new, mainly blue, kit saw the Bears clinch the title with a remarkable 13 wins. The policy of bowling pace-aces Allan Donald and Gladstone Small in mid-innings paid dividends and, after Edgbaston hosted its first floodlit League game, a 35-run win over Somerset, the title was clinched by a thumping home triumph over Gloucestershire, Donald and Ashley Giles taking four wickets apiece.
Wearing the same kit design in ’98, the Bears finished second but then the switch to the famous pinstripes in ’99 did not bring much luck. During a relentlessly wet summer, the Bears lost two games by one wicket and three others by the Duckworth/Lewis method before being condemned to relegation amid high controversy in the final game, against Hampshire at Edgbaston. With ten overs required to be played in the second innings for there to be a result, the Bears were miles on top after 9.1 overs of Hampshire’s reply when the umpires took the teams off for rain.
That was a choker but the new blue-and-yellow-halved kit of 2000 and 2001 delivered immediate success as the Bears regained their Division One status. Promotion in 2000 was sealed by a six-wicket win over Essex at Chelmsford, founded on a fine collective bowling performance launched by the fearsome pace of Michael Powell with the new ball and continued by Alan Richardson, Charlie Dagnall and Dougie Brown (two wickets apiece) and Neil Smith (three for 27).
The following year brought a respectable third-place finish in Division One in a season which brought one spectacular low – 59 all out at Leeds – and an equally spectacular high – Dominic Ostler’s brilliant unbeaten 134 in a day-nighter against Gloucestershire at Edgbaston.