Dom Sibley feels "very proud and privileged" to be part of Warwickshire's championship-winning squad - and regards the triumph as "right up there for me with all my achievements in cricket."
Sibley played in the Bears’ vital closing games after being dropped from the England side late in the season. Omission by the national team is never pleasant but the silver lining for the opening batsman was that he came back to a county which was challenging hard for the title.
He duly scored vital runs in each of the last two must-win games, away to Yorkshire and at home to Somerset, as well as playing his part in a crucially predatory close-fielding cordon, as Warwickshire stormed to the championship title and then added the Bob Willis Trophy to it.
At the end of a testing year for Sibley, it was a joyful way for him to return to the Bears’ fold.
“It is right up there for me with all my achievements in cricket,” the 26-year-old said. “I have struggled personally this year and the whole year has been difficult for me, so when I came back into the Bears group, I just wanted to contribute.
“When I was left out by England, Tim Bresnan sent me a message saying he knows how difficult it is to be dropped by England but telling me to come back strong because we had a championship to win. That really motivated me.
“I came to Warwickshire to help my chances of playing for England and I am very proud to have done that. Then as this year went on, I saw and heard about the guys being likely to win the championship and I felt jealous hearing people talking about winning championships. Back with the Bears I just wanted to play my part and it all came together perfectly. Now that I have won one, I feel on top of the world.”
With 22 Test matches under his belt, Sibley is no stranger to big occasions but he absolutely loved the atmosphere at Edgbaston on the last day against Somerset as the crowd roared the Bears on to victory.
“It was a great day,” he said. “We had so much to do on the last day and it was a special feeling turning up at the ground knowing what we could achieve. The guys batted really well in the morning and then to take ten wickets in two sessions on a flat wickets was a brilliant effort from the bowlers backed up by great catching.
“The noise in the ground as the wickets fell was amazing. It was just a very special day for everyone connected to the Bears and I feel very proud and privileged to be part of it.”
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