In partnership with Lord Combustion, we're taking a look at some of the best performances from a Bear in a white ball final.
On June 22, 2002, Warwickshire faced Essex in the last ever Benson & Hedges Cup final at Lord’s.
A famous old tournament left the English cricket scene for good and an immense young talent fully announced himself to a global audience for the future.
It was a great day for the Bears as they lifted the trophy with a five-wicket win over a powerful Essex side. They won comfortably in the end, thanks to the batting talents of a very special home-grown player.
Having restricted Essex to 181 for eight from 50 overs, the Bears then hit early trouble at 21 for two but 20-year-old Ian Bell was unfazed. First in partnership with fellow Edgbaston product Jim Troughton (who turned the game round with an exhilarating cameo 37 with eight fours), Bell eased his side to victory with a high-class unbeaten 65 (89 balls, seven fours).
The Bears fans at Lord’s loved it as did Bell himself who, as a boy back in 1993, had been one of those fans cheering from the sidelines as Warwickshire charged to a sensational NatWest Bank Trophy over Sussex.
“I was there in ’93 as an 11-year-old with my family in the Grand Stand,” he recalls. “That day just built and built in a fantastic way and I remember running on to the outfield in the dark at the end. That day is the reason I wanted to play for Warwickshire.
“It’s strange to think now of that Essex game in 2002. A red-ball final, the game has moved on so much.
“It was a fantastic day. We started the game so well when Shaun Pollock had Nasser Hussain nicked off in the first over. For me, as a youngster, it was great to have players like Shaun around to learn from. The senior players made it such a great environment to come into. It was a really good culture to be part of.
“For a young player who had been in Warwickshire’s system pretty much since I could remember, that Essex final was amazing. To play for the Bears in a Lord’s final, and contribute to a victory, was literally a dream come true.”
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