Fast-bowler Olly Stone promises there will be “no holding back” as he strives to launch his Warwickshire career in earnest over the coming weeks.
Stone is in contention to lead the Bears’ pace-attack when they open their Specsavers County Championship season against Sussex at Edgbaston tomorrow.
I want to play every game in every competition this year. Whether that’s realistic or not in terms of being rested and having to look after myself I don’t know, but I want to play as much cricket as I can.Olly Stone
If selected, he will be aiming to hit the ground running in the opening game, ahead of a match of special resonance to the 24-year-old, away to his former club Northamptonshire player next week.
Having lost more than a year of his career to injury following a knee operation, Stone is eager to make up for lost time.
In his first games for the Bears towards the end of last season, his bowling suggested that the long lay-off has done nothing to diminish the blistering pace which convinced Warwickshire to sign him in the summer of 2016. And he is heading into his first full season in the Bears first team with a traditional fast-bowler’s mentality – determined to give it everything he has got.
“I don’t ever hold back,” he said. “I give 100 per cent in everything I do which sometimes might be my downfall, but I definitely won’t be holding back and hopefully that will show in my performances.
“It was frustrating last year for me to get out there and play a championship game but then get one or two little injuries and miss the last bit of the season. So I am really looking forward to getting out there and showing what I can do.
“I want to play every game in every competition this year. Whether that’s realistic or not in terms of being rested and having to look after myself I don’t know, but I want to play as much cricket as I can.”
First up for Warwickshire are those two games against likely fellow promotion-contenders Sussex (at home) and Northamptonshire (away) before further back-to-back home games against Derbyshire and Northamptonshire.
“It is good to have three of the first four games at home,” Stone said. “It will be a tough start with those first two games and in Division Two you just never know – everyone beats everyone. But hopefully with home advantage we can make a good start.”