Bears aim leading into the Vitality Blast? Substance and style. 

That was pretty clear as we sat down to interview the players following the long season in October. 

“I think there was a lot to be proud of and a lot that the fans hopefully enjoy enjoyed watching,” said opening batter Rob Yates. 

“You saw a lot of young lads loving life, playing this brilliant brand of cricket, free flowing, expressive, brand of cricket,” said Olly Hannon-Dalby. “And it was just a joy to watch.

All-rounder Dan Mousley added, “We’re going to be positive and we’re going to be aggressive. 

“We are going to make mistakes, but we’re always going to set that high standard. We’re always going to play that blueprint of cricket, which makes such a difference because then you’re very clear there’s no mixed messages around it.”

Sam Hain, concluded, “What was most pleasing was a brand and how we were going about it. 

“We had a never-say-die attitude. I was watching the lads go at it and I was so proud watching them, taking the options I did. It just looked effortless. It looked fluid, they looked confident and I was so proud watching the lads go about their business.”

It’s hard to disagree. 

And while a promising campaign came to an abrupt quarter-final there were positives to reflect on. 

Mark Robinson’s side finished top of the North Group with 11 wins, finishing with seven straight wins. 

The batters helped reach at least 200 five times, plus 196 against Worcestershire Rapids. Against their local rivals, they emphatically despatched them by 53 and 21 runs.

There were also wins from anywhere. 7 for four at Notts, defending 137 against the Steelbacks.

It was a campaign of such promise. It felt we deserved more. But that quarter-final defeat stung and it’s important to build on it. 

“Three quarter-finals is almost a non-negotiable for this Club and for this group of players,” said Will Rhodes. “We want to get to Finals Day and I think we’re only getting better in T20 cricket.”

Leading Blast wicket-taker Danny Briggs commented, “We don’t want to create some sort of voodoo.

“The positive is we’re getting in those positions and we got a home quarter-final as well. 

“The opposition won’t want to play us if we’re consistently getting into these positions year-on-year, so hopefully our quality will shine through if we keep putting ourselves in that position.”

“It’s a momentum competition almost,” added seamer Craig Miles. “Hopefully, we can get here for Finals Day because ultimately that’s what we set out to do every year.”

Vice Captain Alex Davies closed with, “You don’t always get the rewards that you deserve straight away. 

“But the work we’ve done over the last two years is pushing us towards being a very dominant T20 team. Hopefully, will will reap those rewards in the years to come.”

Sounds good to me as I write this during the cold winter months. I’ll leave the final thoughts to Sam Hain.

“I’ve said it before to different people that we will win the T20. I firmly believe it.”

Bring it on. 

Click here to watch the first episode based on the County Championship.

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