The sport director has urged the players to use club cricket to stake a first-team claim.
Warwickshire sport director Ashley Giles has welcomed the new Birmingham League season – and also the restructuring of the competition for 2019 which he believes will benefit the league, its players and the Bears alike.
Giles has called upon Warwickshire’s players to be big contributors to their Birmingham League clubs this season.
Most were denied the chance to shine on Saturday when rain ruined the opening-day programme, though spinner Alex Thomson impressed with 9.1-2-15-3 for Moseley in their 11-run defeat at Shrewsbury.
I want our players to really contribute, both as players and characters, to the clubs and build relationships with them.Ashley Giles
But Giles is pleased that the Bears players, particularly the younger ones, will be in the thick of the league action this season thereby getting such a good grounding in one of the strongest leagues in club cricket.
And he reckons that grounding will only get better from next season when the league is trimmed to two divisions of 12 to concentrate the talent and make it even more competitive.
“At Warwickshire we are lucky to have a structure as strong as the Birmingham League going on around us,” he said. “And anything that makes the league even stronger and more competitive will benefit us all.
“We have changed the way we allocate players to league clubs this year and I want our players to really contribute, both as players and characters, to the clubs and build relationships with them.
“We will be watching very closely how our guys get on because strong performances in the Birmingham League will push them closer in contention for our side. And we are not just interested in our staffed players. As Ryan Sidebottom showed last year, a player who excels in the league can get the chance to make the step up to county cricket.
“I remember how much I enjoyed my three or four seasons with Solihull in the Willis Corroon League and how much it helped me develop as a player. I want all our guys playing league cricket to commit to their clubs as fully as I did to Solihull and hopefully get as much out of it as I did.”