Warwickshire will launch their white-ball season on Thursday when they start their defence of the Royal London Cup, against Northants Steelbacks at Wantage Road.
And as the Bears prepare to embark upon the ever-competitive group stage of the tournament, chief executive Neil Snowball would love to see them battle all the way through to another Lord’s final.
Last time Warwickshire took to the field in 50-over cricket, they thrashed Surrey in the Royal London One-Day Cup final to lift the trophy in front of thousands of buoyant Bears fans.
And no-one enjoyed the occasion more than Snowball at the end of his first season as chief executive.
“It was my first Lord’s final with the Bears and I’ll never forget it with the brilliant victory and the noise the fans made,” he said. “It was a really joyous occasion so let’s hope we can get there again.
In the 50-over last year we had a slow start with a couple of defeats but then got stronger, and the tradition with Warwickshire is if we get to the knockout stages we take some beating. We’ve got T20 coming up later in the summer and we are really excited about our two signings Grant Elliott and Colin de Grandhomme so there is a lot to look forward to.Neil Snowball
“T20 Finals Day at Edgbaston is probably the biggest day in the county cricket calendar now but a Lord’s final is still very special. I met a lot of our fans down at Lord’s and saw how much real joy that game brought.
“The Bears fans are used to success and we had a great quarter-final at Edgbaston and a great semi-final last year which showed that there is still a real appetite among the fans for 50-over cricket. This season it comes in a block of fixtures and I think that will be better for everyone. Instead of flipping between the formats players and supporters can get into the rhythm of the season.”
Warwickshire will turn their attention to 50-over cricket after a disappointing start in the Specsavers County Championship. But Snowball has no doubt the Bears can hit the ground running in the RL Cup, at Northampton on Thursday and then in the first home game, against Durham on Bank Holiday Monday.
“When the fixtures came out we knew it was a tough start to the championship season,” the chief said. “But we want to perform well in all formats and our recent record proves we have done that. We have won all three trophies in the last five years which no other club has done.
“In the 50-over last year we had a slow start with a couple of defeats but then got stronger, and the tradition with Warwickshire is if we get to the knockout stages we take some beating. We’ve got T20 coming up later in the summer and we are really excited about our two signings Grant Elliott and Colin de Grandhomme so there is a lot to look forward to.
“I know there is a lot of pride in the dressing-room and I saw how much the team enjoyed winning the trophy last year, particularly the way we won it at Lord’s with a pretty solid thumping of Surrey. But Lord’s is a long way off for now and the group games come thick and fast so we need to find that form quickly with Bell, Trott and Hain carrying on their white-ball form from last year and the bowlers performing as well as they did.”