The Bears bowler made a huge impression before picking up a freak season-ending injury at York Cricket Club.
Liam Norwell is fit again and full of excitement at the prospect of the new season with Warwickshire but also has something else to occupy plenty of attention at the moment – 12-week-old first child Rory.
Norwell has spent the last eight months recovering from surgery required to correct a freak hamstring injury which ended his 2019 season in mid-June.
I want to be at my best for Warwickshire this season so it’s great to be feeling fit and strong again.Liam Norwell
The injury was doubly frustrating for the all-rounder who had started brilliantly for the Bears, taking seven for 41 on his debut at Taunton and following that up with a match-shaping half-century, and more important wickets, in the home win over Surrey.
But after a winter of hard work and rehab, the 28-year-old is ready to enter the 2020 season firing on all cylinders. Well, nearly all, as some of his energy has to go into looking after Rory who is keeping Liam and wife Lauren on their toes.
“It’s amazing,” Norwell said. “There is nothing that can prepare you for it really, it turns the world upside down, but it is just brilliant.
“He is really good. Usually he sleeps all night. There have been just one or two sleepless nights. If that happens in the season I might have to take the spare room now and then!
“I want to be at my best for Warwickshire this season so it’s great to be feeling fit and strong again. It was so frustrating to get the injury because I was really pleased with the way I’d started for the Bears. I got some wickets down at Taunton and then bowled quite well at home to Nottinghamshire and Surrey and it was great to contribute to a win.
“I was pleased, and a bit surprised to get some runs too. I was lucky that I had such good guys at the other end. Batting with Henry Brookes is always fun and then against Notts I just wanted to see Hosey through to his maiden century.”
Then came the injury at York – and Norwell found himself far from alone in the treatment room as the Bears’ bowling attack was ravaged by injuries, some of them bizarrely freakish.
“The surgeon said it was just a freak injury,” Norwell said. “That just about summed up our season. It was incredible. But these things happen in sport and hopefully we have had our quota of bad luck for quite a long time.
“The guys are looking fit and strong now and that’s great because if we all stay fit it will be brilliant. With everybody pushing for a place we all know we have to keep our standards high.
“We’ve got a really strong squad with Henry Brookes, Olly Stone, Olly Hannon-Dalby, who was the standout last season, Ryan Sidebottom and myself and Craig Miles.
“Hopefully we will see a bit of Woakesy too because it is always brilliant to have him around to learn from. Altogether that’s a really good unit.”