Anisha Patel is proud to have reached the 100 appearance milestone for Warwickshire Women - and deeply grateful to her team-mates over the years who have given her so many "very special" memories.
Leg-spinner Patel played her 100th game last weekend as the Bears were clinching the Vitality Women’s Blast trophy at Portland Road. Warwickshire and England star Amy Jones was on hand to make a presentation to her colleague, a Bear through and through having been in the system at Edgbaston since Under 11s.
Jones paid tribute to Patel both professionally and personally, as “a huge player for us for a long time” and “supper-supportive, we couldn’t have a better team-mate.”
The deep affection and respect for Patel within the squad is clear and it is totally reciprocated by a player who has had a big role in the growth of Warwickshire Women into one of the best sides in the country.
“To get to 100 games is special,” she said. “I’ve always loved putting on the Bears shirt and have been so lucky to be doing it for about ten years in the senior team.
“The players I have played with have made it very special and it’s great to have been part of a successful team with so many good memories. As a team, winning the T20 championship in 2019 was brilliant and, personally, taking a six-for was quite special but it’s been great just playing for the Bears in Division One and contributing to team performances.Anisha Patel
“Things have evolved a long way since I started back when we played red ball cricket only. Now with the white-ball and T20 and regional structures, it’s a great time to be involved in women’s cricket.”
Patel’s powers as a leg-spinner remain undiminished, as she proved weekend when helping the Bears to the Blast trophy. Those powers will next be applied on behalf of Central Sparks, who open their season tomorrow with a visit to Western Storm.
“When I first started off in the Under 11s I was a little medium-pacer,” she recalled, “but I changed that winter and leggies sort of came naturally. It’s a tricky art and always a challenge, but you are always in the game as a leggie, whether it’s taking wickets or just making batters think differently.
“I really enjoyed this season with the Bears, though it was quite crammed in at the start. It was great to win the T20 with a lot of players stepping up at different times and now we turn our focus to the regional comp and Central Sparks.
“We’ve got lots of talent in the squad and a lot of leg spinners as well which I always enjoy talking to the other girls about, so fingers crossed we will hit the ground running and bring a trophy to the Midlands.”
Bears Women’s Players with 100 Appearances
T20 Quarter-Final: Tickets only £10
Birmingham Bears will host Hampshire Hawks at Edgbaston on Thursday 7 July (6.30pn) in the Vitality Blast quarter-finals.
Adult tickets are available from £10, when you buy in advance of the day of the match. Under 12s go FREE and 12 to 15-year-olds are £1. Members and Season Pass holders go FREE.