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First Team Coach Mark Robinson believes that, with the signing of West Indies star Carlos Brathwaite for the 2021 Vitality Blast, the Bears squad is starting to look capable of delivering "something special."

Brathwaite will bring his explosive all-round skills to the Bears squad and make his Blast debut for them in the opening game away to Yorkshire on June 10.

Also making his Bears Blast bow that day will be spinner Danny Briggs, the top wicket-taker in Blast history. And Robinson is excited by the prospect of having such powerhouse acquisitions alongside precocious, young home-grown talent such as Henry Brookes, Rob Yates, Dan Mousley in the squad. 

“You can’t beat experience, especially in T20,” the coach said.

“It started off being thought of as a young man’s game but it’s become clear that seniority and experience, especially under pressure, really counts when you are playing in front of full houses. So it’s very exciting for us to have people like Brathwaite and Briggs who have been there and done it at the top level. They know to win.

“Brathwaite gives us great options because he can bowl and he has that real power to clear the ropes at the back end of an innings, which is invaluable in any team. He is also a big personality and that will be infectious for the dressing room and the crowd and create excitement and fun which is what T20 is all about.  You want people to come to the ground with a smile on their face and leave with one.

Mark Robinson

“With Brathwaite, Briggs and Tim Bresnan, we have players who have won trophies. Then we have the likes of Adam Hose and Rob Yates who want to build on the success they had last summer, and some really good younger players to give that energy and excitement. Henry Brookes in only 21 and even Hainy is only 25 and the captain is 25.

“You want competition in the squad and we have that. You could say we are a tad young, but I find that exciting and it was very encouraging to see the young players respond so well to pressure situations in the last few games last season.

“We have that nice balance now and, with a top class finger-spinner Danny Briggs and also a wrist-spinner Jake Lintott and a bit of pace with Henry and hopefully Olly Stone and, suddenly you’re thinking you might have a good chance of doing something special.”