Will Rhodes has said he’s hungry to add more trophies to those already won under his leadership at Warwickshire having agreed a contract extension at Edgbaston.

Bears skipper Rhodes has signed an extension binding him to the club until the end of 2024.  

He already has plenty of silverware on his captaincy CV – under him the team won the County Championship and Bob Willis Trophy in 2021. Now his objective is to help return the side to those levels of performance after a difficult 2022 season brought numerous injuries and a relegation battle. 

 “It was nice to receive another year,” Rhodes said. “I’m really happy to stay and hungry to get going next season. As a team, the challenge for us is to get back up that table. We know we are a very good team – everyone saw how good in 2021. 

“We’ve got a good squad and the club is very happy with the recruitment made over the winter. Chris Rushworth and Ed Barnard have settled in really well and, while we haven’t seen Moeen Ali yet because he’s been away, I’m sure he will be the same. They are all excited to get going and, with Hassan Ali coming in too, will really add to our attack.” 

Rhodes’ appetite for leading the Bears remains undimmed despite the high pressure of the role, pressure which increases when, as a batter, you are short of runs. That has been the case for the 27-year-old as he has juggled the demands of the job. As a number of his predecessors – Michael Powell, Ian Westwood, Jim Troughton – can testify, finding the time and mental space to keep your own game in top notch is difficult. 

Rhodes in addressing that issue, in the traditional way by hitting balls, and also in consultation with Bears sports psychologist Kate Green. 

“The job is very tiring but I’m not complaining – that’s part and parcel of the amazing honour of being Warwickshire captain,” he said. “You just want to contribute every way you can and it’s been tough at times in the last couple of years. I have been short of where I want to be. It’s mentally quite straining when you are not contributing the way you would like, so I have worked a lot with Kate over the last 12 months. We have had a lot of conversations and hopefully the work I am putting in is making me a better cricketer on the field and a better person off it.” 

If Rhodes can recapture the fine batting form that he showed when he first arrived from Yorkshire, the Bears will be delighted because his captaincy has impressed, not least under the greatest pressure. In the final games of the last two seasons, which brought stunning wins to clinch the title and the great escape respectively, those results owed much to Rhodes’ bold declarations, in the second innings against Somerset in ’21 and the first against Hampshire last September. He also scored vital quick runs in each game.

“They were probably my two best games as captain,” he said. “I was able to help my team and then the guys added some  miraculous performances to see us through. I’m proud of the way I captained in those games and that does give you confidence that you can make a difference to people’s performances.

“If I can do that for just a couple of the guys this year, it will go a long way towards us winning some games and I’m working very hard to get myself back among the runs too.”

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