"Be brave and take risks" - that is the message from first team coach Mark Robinson to his Bears squad ahead of the 2021 Vitality Blast.

Robinson is preparing the Bears for their first T20 campaign under his command, starting against Yorkshire Vikings at Headingley on Thursday, and is no stranger to success in the format, having led Sussex to the trophy when in charge at Hove.

The key to success, reckons Robinson, is to show no fear – an approach which overseas signing Carlos Brathwaite has shown with spectacular success throughout his career.

“We play to win, we want to be brave and we want to take risks,” Robinson said. “We have had some good chats about how we want to play in T20 as a squad and it’s all about showing courage and being positive.

“Carlos has spoken to the lads brilliantly and he said sometimes you have to risk looking silly in order to win. You need to have a bit of luck and the brave people, the ones who step forward and make decisions, are generally a bit luckier than the rest.

“Sometimes you’ve got to risk being embarrassed, as a team and as a player. Sometimes you are better off being 80 all out and losing by 100 runs than losing by 30 runs without ever really giving it a go. We have got to play bravely as individuals and as a team and the atmosphere around the team has to allow that to happen and not be judgmental.”

Mark Robinson

There is a tangible sense of excitement around the Bears’ camp in the approach to the Blast. After all the challenges of the last year, and some strong performances in the first half of the red-ball campaign, the players just can’t wait to get out there in the shorter format, free up and share some fun with the fans.

“In all the formats I think we are appreciating how lucky we are to be playing this great game which we couldn’t play for a time last year,” Robinson said. “Now the T20 is here so let’s have some fun and a big part of that is winning.

“Losing is not fun, whether it’s T20, championship or 50-over, winning is always more fun, but also you have always got to have a sense of perspective.  That’s the most important thing in life and in cricket.

“In cricket, we are judged in what we do in our jobs, sometimes very instantly and very harshly, and we just have to accept that as part of the job because we are very lucky to do what we do for a living.”