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Relegation hurts, but we must look forward

I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved in a number of highs throughout my career with Warwickshire, but last week’s relegation from Specsavers County Championship Division One was a real low point.

We have been in a relegation battle all season but, when the final moment comes, it is still extremely difficult to take.

I’m sure there is a lot of disappointment amongst the members and supporters. That is totally understandable and is shared by the players. For me and all the other boys in the changing room, this really hurts.

Since the midway point of the 2015 season we have been clinging on in the top flight. You see it in football sometimes that a team hangs on for a few seasons and then, ultimately, time catches up with them.

Ian Bell

I was at the club when the team was relegated in 2007 but I didn’t play many games as I was away with England. I’ve been around for the whole season this year and, believe me, as a lifelong Warwickshire supporter, relegation is very tough to be part of.

I certainly don’t think it’s been through a lack of effort, it just feels as though a very successful period in the club’s history has drawn to a close.

If we are being honest, since the midway point of the 2015 season we have been clinging on in the top flight. You see it in football sometimes that a team hangs on to their Premier League status for a few seasons and then, ultimately, time catches up with them and relegation happens.

That’s how it feels here. As a club, we have had some amazing success over the last 10 years, winning all the major trophies.

But it goes in cycles and we now have to rebuild, which is an exciting challenge in itself.

That process has already started and will go on throughout our final two games of the season, starting at Yorkshire this week. Obviously we would still want to be in there fighting but the fact is that the pressure is off us now and hopefully we can end the season on a high with two big performances.

Looking ahead to next season, division two won’t be easy and anyone who thinks we only have to turn up to games to bounce back at the first attempt will be sadly mistaken.

Next year will be tough but if we work hard and embrace the challenge, then we can be successful.

I love playing for this county and I will be doing everything I can to help the club back into the top flight as soon as possible.

Ian Bell

From a personal point of view, I haven’t scored the amount of runs I would have dearly loved to this season and I take full responsibility for that.

But I love playing for this county and I will be doing everything I can to help the club back into the top flight as soon as possible.

The best way I can do that is to score the weight of runs I’ve consistently produced in my career and I will be working hard as ever to do that.

Warwickshire remains one of the great counties in English cricket and now we are all determined to get the club to where it belongs – in division one of the County Championship and challenging for major honours.