Jeetan Patel admits that it feels a “little bit daunting” to have taken on the Warwickshire captaincy as the club rebuilds towards a new era under sport director Ashley Giles and first-team coach Jim Troughton.
But Bears legend Patel is also very excited by a chance to “put down a marker” at the club as he prepares to skipper the team in the Specsavers County Championship and Royal London Cup in 2018.
Actually, though the infinitely modest Patel would never accept the fact, he has already put down a huge marker at Edgbaston as a template of sustained commitment and quality during almost a decade as overseas player. His all-round contribution is colossal already.
I’ve been part of a lot of success with the Bears. If I can be part of some more as captain then that will be fantastic.Jeetan Patel
But now the 37-year-old can further shape Warwickshire’s fortunes as captain – and the challenge has him buzzing.
“It’s an exciting time,” Patel said. “It is a little bit daunting, in a way, to be captain of a such a great club but also very exciting to have the chance to put a marker on the club.
“I want to play for as long as I can but, realistically, I am in the last years of my career now so this is a fantastic new challenge. I want to keep finding new challenges and achieving success and winning trophies.
“I’ve been part of a lot of success with the Bears. If I can be part of some more as captain then that will be fantastic.”
I speak to the guys most days. I’m sorry I’m not there in amongst it but I have got total trust in the management and senior players and am in regular touch. It’s all about prepping for the season now and getting in a good place ready for that first game against Sussex.Jeetan Patel
Patel’s next success could arrive in the next few weeks with his native Wellington who sit top of the Plunket Shield (the New Zealand equivalent of the county championship) at the halfway stage. But though ever-present for Wellington in the midst of their busy campaign, Patel is also heavily-engaged with pre-season preparations 11,640 miles away at Edgbaston.
“I speak to the guys most days,” he said. “I’m sorry I’m not there in amongst it but I have got total trust in the management and senior players and am in regular touch. It’s all about prepping for the season now and getting in a good place ready for that first game against Sussex.
“In the meantime, at Wellington, we have won four of our first five so hopefully we can carry that on and finish the job. Then it will be back to the Bears and another new challenge and one I’m really looking forward to.”