Sport director Ashley Giles believes the recent flurry of recruitment at Warwickshire has provided important early momentum as the reshaping of the first-team squad gathers pace.
Three players have arrived – and all made excellent first impressions. Adam Hose and Dominic Sibley, signed from Somerset and Surrey respectively on three-years deals, made an immediate impact with the bat in the NatWest T20 Blast. Fast-bowler Ryan Sidebottom, meanwhile, harvested match-figures of six for 70 on his Specsavers County Championship debut to help the Bears to a stunning 190-run win over Middlesex at Lord’s.
The relationships with our clubs are really important to us because that’s where some of the next batch of Warwickshire cricketers should be coming from.Ashley Giles
Sidebottom’s abrupt emergence came after he impressed with reigning champions Berkswell in the Birmingham & District Premier League. And such links with local cricket, alongside home-grown players like Matt Lamb, Aaron Thomason and Sunny Singh, supplemented by recruiting the likes of Hose and Sibley as appropriate, form the collective recruitment strategy that the Bears now have in place.
Building and executing that strategy is part of Giles’ brief as sport director – and he is very happy with the arrivals so far.
“A big part of my role is bringing the right people into Edgbaston and I certainly believe we are doing that with the signings we have made recently,” he said. “Adam, Dominic and Ryan will all add to our squad in the coming months and years.
“I have always said if the right people, with the right skills and the right characters to bring to Edgbaston, are in the market then we should be interested in them. The three guys we have brought in have got all those attributes.
“One thing we wanted to do was try to act early and certainly with Sibley and Hose we have done that. It’s very pleasing that we have brought in two guys with such high potential. The ceilings for both are really high and hopefully they will go and realise their dreams of playing for England but in the short term bring a lot of success to Warwickshire.
“Hose can’t play for us in the championship this season but hopefully we will see a lot from him over the next ten years.
“It’s also great to have Ryan on board and I have to say thank you to his club Berkswell who released him to be in the squad for his debut at Lord’s. Those relationships with clubs are really important to us because that’s where some of the next batch of Warwickshire cricketers should be coming from.”
Sunny Singh and Grant Thornton, local lads, have come in and done well, Andy Umeed has scored a hundred and Matty Lamb played really well to score vital runs in our win at Middlesex this week. Then in T20 Aaron Thomason has come into quite an experienced middle order and excelled.Ashley Giles
Another high priority is to make the Edgbaston academy more productive – and this season has brought encouraging signs on that front.
“We’ve seen good progress in both championship and T20,” said Giles. “In the championship, Sunny Singh and Grant Thornton, local lads, have come in and done well, Andy Umeed has scored a hundred and Matty Lamb played really well to score vital runs in our win at Middlesex this week.
“Then in T20 Aaron Thomason has come into quite an experienced middle order and excelled. That’s great because it’s important that we give these guys exposure at that level. We are definitely moving in the right direction.”