Captain Will Rhodes shares his verdict on a Royal London Cup campaign that not only saw a youthful Warwickshire side win four out of their last six but were backed by Bears fans up and down the country.

With a team deprived, for the most part, of a dozen senior players by injuries and international and Hundred calls, the Bears called on a young core to steer their way through the competition.

Although Mark Robinson’s side’s efforts were concluded at the group stage, there were plenty of positives to build on. 

Ten players earned their List A debuts, whilst three players – Matt Lamb, Ed Pollock and Rob Yates – made their maiden List A centuries. Four bowlers – Ethan Brookes, George Garrett, Matt Lamb and Rhodes – improved their career-best List A bowling figures.

And after a difficult 18 months around the world, the Warwickshire die-hard were on hand to offer their valuable support. 

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The familiar Yoooouuu Beeaaarrrss chant was not only heard at Edgbaston but Cardiff, Derbyshire, York and The Kia Oval.

“It’s great to have the members back and win in the style we have,” said Rhodes after Warwickshire’s win over Somerset.

“It’s always nice to chase a score like 280 here at Edgbaston and, I think the way we went about our second innings was superb. 

“You always want to play in front of crowds and, we witnessed their support in the T20s. This competition can kickstart a few careers and, for some, it was their first taste of Edgbaston.

“A lot of the Members will have heard of these guys in Second XI cricket and not seen them before in person, so they can start putting names to faces. 

“I’m sure with the performances they’ve put in the Members will be very excited!”

The Bears finished fifth in their group, having won four of their eight games, the same as all four teams that finished above them.

They were edged out of the qualification places because all the teams above them picked up points from washed-out games (the Bears had no ‘no result’s, winning four and losing four). 

“We’ve had a decent campaign and, we’re disappointed we didn’t get through,” added the Skipper.

“It could have been a bit of a car crash after losing the first two, but we’ve won four out of the last six and, we can take real positives from that. 

“I’m very proud and, everyone at some stage has put up their hand and performed. 

“Whether that’s 17-year-old Jacob Bethell, Manraj Johal who has done really well, Jordan Bulpitt and Karl Carver too and the staff players who you rely on day in and day out.

“Lamb topped off a strong tournament and, I’m pleased for him. It’s a shame he couldn’t get over the line with another ton against Somerset.

“Dan Mousley is another example and, he has been great since he’s come back. Yates started the comp like a house on fire and, there were contributions from Michael Burgess, Garrett etc.”

“There are games you obviously assess and look at where you could have gone differently. 

“The Yorkshire game – for example – was one where 20 or 30 runs could have gone either way. We were also close to getting over the line at Glamorgan.

“It’s little things like that which will help the lads grow over winter and take into next years comp. 

“There are things to work on and, hopefully, we can go one better.”