Jeetan Patel believes Edgbaston will always feel like home.
Speaking at the ground where he became one of the all-time great Warwickshire Bears, ‘Jeets’ embraced the nostalgia.
Joining in 2008, the off-spinner would amass 742 wickets across all formats, winning plenty of trophies and accolades across 11 seasons.
Calling time on his Bears career three years ago, the now 42-year-old returned as part of our ‘Lunch with Legends’ series with Brian Halford.
Legend is a word that’s easily thrown around these days, but it’s the perfect word for the man who kept the Bear and Ragged Staff at the forefront of everything he did.
“It’s a great buzz from when you get through those gates,” said Patel. “You get directions to the car compound from JT, usually with a little bit of abuse, but it’s always quite funny. Then you walk into reception and it’s just just like being home.
“It feels a lot longer than three years, but maybe that’s what happens when you’re playing cricket so much? I had a great time here and I was so lucky to come to a Club like this and spend 11 seasons.
“We had all the fun, all the stories, all the trophies, we lost games, won games, but we remember the friendships we’ve created. I think me and my family are appreciative of what’s happened over the last decade.”
Having returned to his native Wellington, Jeets is back in England and looking to secure Ashes victory as one of the Men’s red ball coaches.
Now a Harborne resident, the former New Zealand international has his young family alongside him, ready to continue their life in the second city.
“I see OHD on the street or playing golf, same with Sam Hain, I see Ian Westwood quite a bit and Jonathan Trott often,” added Patel. “I always enjoy coming back and there’s a new range of players coming through who are so exciting to watch.
“I am a super fan and always will be for what this Club has done for me and my family. I should give that energy back because I love doing it. I love coming to this ground and I love seeing the Bears play. I’ll keep coming back, I live up the road and be thankful for what has given us great times.
“Once a Bear, always a Bear. 100%.”
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