The list of players who’ve represented both the Bears and the Pears is an esteemed one, featuring two former captains and a couple of international greats.
Ed Barnard and Adam Hose became the 28th and 29th cricketers to play for both Warwickshire and Worcestershire when they crossed rival county lines ahead of the 2023 season.
Barnard and Hose – who spent six summers at Warwickshire before switching to New Road last year – are likely to face off when the two old adversaries go head-to-head at Edgbaston on Derby Day on Friday 12 July (6.30pm start).
It’s always the most eagerly anticipated T20 game on the calendar for both sides and in recent years has attracted near sell-out crowds of 17,000. Fans can register now to get priority access to tickets at the best prices from 10am on Tuesday 6 February.
And this summer’s encounter is all the more appetizing with the prospect of Moeen Ali lining up for the Bears against the club at which he spent 16 years.
Here’s a look at four players who’ve worn both the Bear and Pear.
Allan Donald: Warwickshire 1987-2000, Worcestershire 2002
Allan Donald is arguably Warwickshire’s best ever overseas player as his 781 wickets over 14 seasons saw him achieve cult status at Edgbaston.
But Bears fans might not know that the ‘White Lightning’ also made a solitary appearance for Worcestershire two years after moving on from what he considers his “second home”.
Donald appeared for the Pears in a County Championship Division 2 game at Durham in June 2002 having signed a short-term deal as overseas cover for Aussie Andy Bichel who’d been called up for an ODI series.
He marked his Pears debut with a five-fer (5-77 in 24 overs) in what turned out to be his final County Championship game.
However, it’s with Warwickshire that Donald will be remembered for years to come.
He played a key part in helping the Club win the 1989 NatWest Bank Trophy (the tournament’s top wicket taker with 14) but his wholehearted brilliance for the Club peaked in 1995.
In that blazing hot summer, he took 89 County Championship wickets at 16.07 apiece to power the Bears to the title.
RES Wyatt: Warwickshire 1923-39, Worcestershire 1946-51
Legendary Warwickshire and England captain Robert Elliott Storey Wyatt – aka RES Wyatt – seemed to save his best for Derby Day.
Wyatt – who captained the Bears from 1930-37 and led England in 15 of his 40 Tests – averaged 48.88 in his 48 innings for the Bears against Worcestershire. He only averaged more in the County Championship against Northants (50.34) and Leicestershire (65.80).
His best against the Pears was an unbeaten 187 in August 1933 at the Tipton Road ground, Dudley, which was used by Worcestershire 88 times, the last in 1971.
Wyatt – one of Wisden’s Cricketers of the Year in 1930 – totalled 21,687 First Class runs for Warwickshire (inc 51 centuries) while his handy medium pace deliveries claimed more than 650 wickets.
During World War II ‘Bob’ Wyatt served in the RAF, returning home in 1946 to play six summers for local rivals Worcestershire where he scored 4,233 runs (33.86) and took 62 wickets.
And he showed his class right till the end. In the penultimate game of his illustrious career (at Somerset on 22 August 1951) Worcestershire needed six to win off the final ball. Wyatt duly obliged, driving it high into the pavilion.
He died in 1995 aged 93.
Ed Barnard: Worcestershire 2015-22, Warwickshire 2023-present.
All-rounder Ed Barnard enjoyed a standout first season as a Bear having joined from neighbours Worcestershire in 2023 on a three-year contract.
The 28-year-old scored 1,179 across all formats and was named the Metro Bank One Day Cup Player of the Year after he top scored in the competition with 616 runs.
He also took 41 wickets, including 29 in the County Championship, the highlight of which was his first Bears’ five-fer (5-66 at Surrey).
Born in Shrewsbury, Ed developed through the Worcestershire Academy and went on to harvest 4,890 runs and 370 wickets for the Pears. In 2022, he was the county’s leading first-class run scorer with 895 runs at an average of 60.
The Bears’ allrounder role has been filled with distinction in recent years by the likes of Rikki Clarke, Neil Carter, Keith Barker, Tim Bresnan and Chris Woakes. And ‘Barney’ is already staking his claim to join that elite list.
In total, Barnard has played 286 matches in his career across all formats – scoring 6,604 runs (33.61 and 39.41, respectively, in FC and List A) – and taking 427 wickets.
Norman Gifford MBE: Worcestershire 1960-82, Warwickshire 1983-88
At the age of 48, left-arm spinner Norman Gifford is one of the oldest cricketers to play in a Bears v Pears derby.
Gifford lined up for Warwickshire at New Road on 25 August 1988 in a bowling attack comprising Gladstone Small, Tim Munton and 21-year-old Allan Donald. It was the 256th game of his 258-game Bears career; he took the wicket of Graeme Hick.
Affectionately known as Apple Norm, he made 802 appearances for Worcestershire and helped guide them to three County Championship successes in 1964 – when he took more than 100 wickets – 1965 and 1974 when he was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year.
He moved to Edgbaston in 1983 and would go on to take 471 wickets in both First Class and List A cricket.
When he retired from playing at the age of 48, Gifford had taken 2,068 first-class wickets. With less first-class cricket played these days, he’s likely to remain the last man to reach the 2,000 mark.
Gifford represented England in 15 Test matches and two ODIs.
Gerald Sanderson, Russell Everitt, George Byrne, Ernest Suckling, Harry Austin, Ernest Norton, William Hampton, Albert Lane, Bernard Quaife, Charles Fiddian-Green, Harry Spencer, John Fox, RES Wyatt, Allan White, Charles Grove, Norman Gifford, Jim Cumbes, Gordon Lord, Allan Donald, David Banks, Tom Moody, Stephen Perryman, Anurag Singh, Alan Richardson, Moeen Ali, Richard Jones, Ed Pollock, Adam Hose, Ed Barnard.
Four Teams. Two Matches. Blast Off is back!
Vitality Blast Off is back and the Bears will launch their home T20 campaign with a huge men’s double-header featuring two big Midlands rivalry games.
Taking place on Saturday 1 June, Derbyshire Falcons host Leicestershire Foxes (2.30pm) before the Bears take on Notts Outlaws (6.30pm).
Tickets are on sale now at our Super Early Bird prices.