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First team coach Mark Robinson has outlined his pride in Warwickshire's players for their achievements in the 2021 season - and admits the double success "sort of snuck up on us."

The Bears rounded off their rousing red ball campaign last week by adding the Bob Willis Trophy to their LV=Insurance County Championship title – a brilliant effort in Robinson’s first season at Edgbaston. 

It was a success that, with a talented but relatively inexperienced squad, few people saw coming. But as momentum grew in the closing weeks of the season the Bears became unstoppable, finishing off their first class programme with five days of total dominance.

Their innings-and-199-run eclipse of Lancashire in the Bob Willis Trophy at Lord’s followed a memorable final championship day at Edgbaston when they brushed aside Somerset to secure the title.

“That was a monumental effort,” said Robinson. “To take ten wickets that quickly on a very good, placid wicket and win with 20 overs to spare – what an effort!

“That performance captured where we have been at our best all year. We had to do it the hard way at times. We strained for that last bonus point in that last game and couldn’t get it so needed Lancashire to help us out. They did and the players took advantage and I am very proud of them.”

That momentous last day delivered a success the seeds of which were sown much earlier. It is a success rooted in the hard yards of training, planning and recruiting done the previous winter and also in previous years under Robinson’s successor Jim Troughton.

Then came the first green shoots of potential glory in the early championship matches with eye-catching victories over Nottinghamshire (twice) and champions Essex.

“It sort of snuck up on us,” said Robinson. “We had to get out of our group and we did that and had to do it the hard way. We beat Essex and a resurgent Notts twice. The best two four-day teams in the country in the last few years have been Somerset and Essex and we beat them both this year.

“We haven’t resorted to green wickets – we have played on very good wickets at Edgbaston and won games on them deep in the last day which is great credit to the players. Anybody who comes top deserves it but, within the format we have had this year, we have shown that, at this time, we are the best team in the country because we have beaten the best teams

WATCH | We spoke with Mark Robinson following the Bob Wills Trophy triumph at Lord’s.

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