Dougie Brown admits that Warwickshire face some tricky selection decisions ahead of their Royal London Cup final against Surrey at Lord’s tomorrow – but says they are the sort of decisions that any side would welcome.
The Bears have powered to the 50-over final largely without the services of England all-rounder Chris Woakes, who has played just one game in the tournament this season, and sometimes without Ireland captain and top-order batsman William Porterfield.
But both are available tomorrow, which means that at least two changes will have to be made from the team which beat Somerset at Edgbaston in the semi-final. Two players will be disappointed to be left watching from the sidelines – but that is an inevitable consequence of having a strong competitive squad.
“We have a couple of decisions to make with everybody being available, but those are the decisions you want as a coach and captain,” said director of cricket Brown. “Will Porterfield is available to come into the top five and Chris Woakes is obviously a top-class option to have as a wicket-taking bowler.
“We will have a look at the pitch and likely conditions, because you never quite know what you are going to get at Lord’s these days, and then name the team. Then we will have to have a couple of conversations with players who miss out, but that’s sport at this level. Everybody in the squad understands that we will just pick the team we think gives us the best chance of winning the trophy.
“Selection-wise, we are well-covered in all departments and that’s a really good situation to be in.”
An enthralling match is in prospect against a Surrey side showing increasing signs this season of putting a low-key era behind them in all formats. They are a strong, experienced, talented team in fine form in 50-over cricket – but so are the Bears, insists Brown.
“Our championship form this season has too often been disappointing, there’s no getting away from that,” he said. “But in 50-over cricket we have played really well all through and got better as the tournament has gone on. Our top five batsmen have scored the runs, which is the way you want it, laying the foundation for the guys later on to improvise and accelerate. Then the bowlers have taken wickets so that very rarely have we been needing to bowl big death overs.
“Surrey are similar to us, in terms of both method and form, so it is a very even-looking contest and should be a cracking game.”
Alex Mellor has been included in the Bears’ squad, though Tim Ambrose is expected to be fit to keep wicket after the buttock-strain which has sidelined him for the last two weeks.
- Ian Bell (Captain)
- Tim Ambrose (Wicket-Keeper)
- Rikki Clarke
- Laurie Evans
- Sam Hain
- Oliver Hannon-Dalby
- Ateeq Javid
- Alex Mellor (Wicket-Keeper)
- Jeetan Patel
- William Porterfield
- Josh Poysden
- Jonathan Trott
- Chris Woakes
- Chris Wright
Tickets for the Royal London One-Day Cup Final are priced from £30-£50 for adults and at £5 for juniors, with Warwickshire Members and supporters allocated the Edrich Stand and the Lower Tier of the Mound Stand.
Please click here or call the Lord’s Ticket Office direct on 020 7432 1000 to purchase.