Michael Powell knows what winning as a Bear really means and he was delighted to see this season's achievements.
Turning pro with Warwickshire in 1994, the batter made his county debut after a fruitful 24 months which bared five shimmering trophies.
Speaking at the Champions Dinner, it was hard not to see Powell’s pride in seeing his side lift a domestic double.
The former Captain (2001-03) tasted leadership success at Lord’s in the 2002 B&H Cup, before stepping aside and celebrating the Championship once in more 2004. That’s certainly a CV worth taking note of.
“Unfortunately, I was at work, but it was fantastic,” Powell said speaking to Brian Halford. “The boys knew what they had to do and it got to the crunch point and that’s where the pressure is on.
“That’s where every decision you make as a cricketer, captain or bowler is going to make or break that opportunity to get over the line. Looking back in hindsight you realise how massive that 14 day period was for the boys.
“They made some great decisions and played some excellent cricket and the win at Lord’s showed what a fantastic side they are.”
“It’s the ultimate for a county cricketer,” the now 46-year-old added. “You know the best sides are trying to win the County Championship, so it’s wonderful what the boys have experienced this year and achieved. I know the format is different to 2004 when I experienced it, and 94 the first year I was on the staff, but It’s the holy grail and you know you’ve been tested. I’m delighted for them.”
Powell was not only thrilled for the team but Captain Will Rhodes. The Rugby native has spent many a day in his shoes, knowing how important the balance is.
“He’s answered any critics he had and shown this year what he’s made of when it mattered,” he added.
“If you look back when they were setting up that total they needed he showed exactly what he was capable of as a player.
“Looking back at my time you know how important it is as a batsman to score runs as well as make great decisions as he did as a captain.”
Still an avid follower, Powell tries to attend as many matches as possible, whilst also being a prominent member of WOCCA.
The Bears will also be in his heart, but with the emergence of a young Jacob Bethell, there’s an extra incentive to follow every ball.
Powell is Rugby School’s Director of Cricket and he admits the school has plenty of pride in seeing Bethell make an instant impression.
“Jacob had one experience of the championship towards the end which was great for him,” Powell concluded. “He’s a precocious talent and he’s in a great place. I couldn’t be happier that he’s a Bear now or even a Championship winning Bear!
“What’s exciting about Jacob is that you can win the game with either batting, bowling or bowling and he offers a lot. He’s a fantastic fielder, a very good bowler and a fine batsman. That’s what’s exciting. In all aspects, there’s no reason why he can’t deliver for the Bears for many years to come hopefully.”
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