Warwickshire will return to Specsavers County Championship action next week at home to a Hampshire team which will include one very familiar figure.
Leading the Hampshire bowling in the game starting at Edgbaston next Tuesday will be Keith Barker, a pillar of the Bears’ team for much of the last decade until the 32-year-old left at the end of last season.
Off the field, a warm welcome awaits Barker. On it, not so much as the Bears strive to bounce back from defeat in their championship opener against Kent.
I’m excited about returning to four-day cricket because I know how good we can be at it. We have some very good players who want to play red-ball cricket at the highest level.cite=”Jeetan Patel
“It will always be nice to welcome Keith back to Edgbaston,” said Warwickshire captain Jeetan Patel. “As they say, once a Bear, always a Bear and I am sure Keith will keep that with him for a very long time. He deserves all the plaudits he got for his performances for Warwickshire over the years, but he is a Hampshire player now and we have got to counteract his skills.”
Hampshire will arrive in Birmingham having won one and lost one in the championship so far. For the Bears, having taken four points from their first match, it will be a chance to get their red-ball season up and running ahead of the following week’s visit to Division One leaders Somerset.
“It’s almost a month since the Kent game so it seems a long time ago and we are all looking forward to getting stuck in to the championship season,” said Patel.
“I’m excited about returning to four-day cricket because I know how good we can be at it. We have some very good players who want to play red-ball cricket at the highest level so these games coming up will be a great chance for them to showcase their skills, first up against a very good Hampshire team.”