Liam Norwell was one of the standout performers of Warwickshire's stunning double triumph this year - 49 championship wickets at 18.26 runs apiece tell the story of his aggressive, accurate and match-shaping fast bowling.
Plenty of praise has been handed to Norwell of late and he has rightly earned a place on the England Lions tour of Australia. But when asked to reflect upon his fine season, he is quick to hand out some praise himself – praise and heartfelt gratitude to the men who made his massive contribution possible: Bears head physio Gerhard Mostert and his medical team.
“When I sat down with Graeme Welch at the start of the year, my whole goal was just to stay fit,” said Norwell.
“Before this year I had played four first-class games in three years and left the field injured in two, so the top objective was just to stay fit. I knew if I did that, I could contribute in some way. I just wanted to repay the club for their confidence in me and standing by me.
“I’m delighted to have taken 49 wickets but the biggest thing for me was just being out there with the lads with the opportunity to put in performances because you can’t do that if you are sitting on the sidelines.
“After we beat Somerset in the last game, the first three people I said thank you to were Gerhard Mostert, Chris Cole and Jack Murfin. I said to them I wouldn’t have been in this position, to have got the chance to win a championship, without you three. Without those guys, their expertise and encouragement, I wouldn’t be where I am now and I am so grateful. We are so lucky with our medical team at Edgbaston, they are one of the best around. “Liam Norwell
Norwell’s performances this year certainly vindicated all the hard work that excellent team has put in with him.
After suffering such ill-luck with injuries in the previous three years, the 2021 season is one he will always treasure.
“I am so proud of all the lads,” he said. “I don’t think many people gave us a chance of winning the championship, so to do that and then win the Bob Willis Trophy too just shows what a tight team we are. We play for each other. The belief among these lads is colossal.
“We just went out on that last day against Somerset and gave it a red hot crack and it came off. It was incredible and I think that bodes really well for the future with that brand of cricket. Everyone was prepared to risk losing the game to go for glory. I think the fact we are happy to risk losing really shows the trust that everyone has in each other.
“This whole bunch of lads is special and we have the opportunity to do something really special in the next few years if we can keep everyone fit and playing. We have an unbelievable foundation to build on.
“We can’t rest on the fact that we’ve won the double. The lads are going to be coming back in November with more hunger than ever because, once you get a taste of winning, you just want to keep doing it. Those celebrations on the last day of the season with our families on the pitch were some of the best memories I’ll ever have.
“Now we have that taste of winning we just need to turn it into four, five, six years of successful cricket for the Bears. It’s up to us as players and coaches to make sure this year was no flash in the pan.”
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