Warwickshire's players have some "great opportunities" ahead of them when the 2020 season at last gets underway, believes first-team coach Jim Troughton.
The county season will finally begin at the start of August with a string of four-day games in the Bob Willis Trophy.
Everyone connected to cricket will be thrilled that the UK’s great summer sport can at last resume. But within that general joy will come the pragmatic business of teams trying to win matches and individuals striving to shine – and Troughton is excited by that.
“I am very excited about where this group of players can go,” he said. “This year has been so strange and this season will be very much an unknown quantity but it will be great to see our players out again there playing competitive cricket. There are some great opportunities there for these guys.
“Alex Thomson will be the lead spinner as Jeetan Patel won’t be with us for the start. Will Rhodes can at last put his stamp on the team as captain. Ian Bell is back after a year and a half out. Tim Bresnan is starting a new chapter of his great career. For them and for all the players, who are all champing at the bit, it’s a very exciting time.Jim Troughton
“This time last year, England had just won the World Cup and we had just come off our incredible five-week road trip of successive away matches where we learned a hell of a lot. I’m really looking forward to seeing the players put all they have learned into practice.”
With the truncated red-ball competition named in honour of Warwickshire legend Bob Willis, it would be wonderful if the trophy could come to Edgbaston. For that to happen, the Bears will have to hit the ground running, though, as only the two group-winners with the most points will qualify for the final.
“It is great that the ECB has named it after Bob, a great servant to Warwickshire and an absolutely top bloke,” Troughton said. “It would be wonderful to win the trophy but it will take some doing to be one of the top two group-winners. I think you’d have to win at least three of your five group games…but we’ll give it a real go.”