Warwickshire's players will continue their preparations for the belated start to the 2020 season when they play an internal two-day warm-up game behind closed doors at Edgbaston on Thursday and Friday.
First-team coach Jim Troughton says the players have “adapted well” to the social distancing regulations in place during the return to training in the last two weeks.
Now their preparations are set to take another step forward ahead of the first official pre-season friendly, a two-dayer against Nottinghamshire at Edgbaston, on July 24 and 25.
“The internal game won’t be a full-scale practice match,” said Troughton. “The players will be batting in pairs and bowling a certain number of overs, but it will give them a chance to get out there fully in the middle, without the nets and do some fielding and get a couple of days in the dirt.
“I didn’t want the Notts game to be the first time they did that, because the friendlies against Notts and Worcestershire will be full-on games, with umpires and scorers, and we want the guys to be ready to get the most out of them.Jim Troughton
“It will be great for the lads to get out there in the middle at Edgbaston and play at last. They have trained really well in the last couple of weeks and adapted well to the social distancing regulations.
“It has been odd. After weeks with their families or on their own, connecting with each other on laptops or iPhones, they have been back among their mates but can’t shake hands or embrace and can only chat at a distance. But they have been very good and very diligent, as we all have to be.”
The guidelines from Government and the England and Wales Cricket Board have been followed with the utmost diligence as Edgbaston begins to take further small steps out of lockdown. Head physio Gerhard Mostert, strength & conditioning coach Jack Murfin and head of stadium operations Claire Daniel have been deeply involved in implementing the guidelines.
Sport director Paul Farbrace and bowling coach Pop Welch are well-versed in what is necessary, having worked with the Bears’ England players for two weeks ahead of the main squad returning.
“It helped that we knew what to expect because Farby and Pop had been working with the England guys beforehand,” said Troughton. “Mozzy, Jack and Claire have done a brilliant job in arranging everything to ensure that we can train in a totally safe environment and the players have shown a lot of responsibility so it has gone well.”
Reminder that the internal warm-up game, and both confirmed friendly matches, will be played behind closed doors, with Members and supporters sadly unable to attend at this time.
Please do not travel to Edgbaston for any of these fixtures as unfortunately you will not be allowed in to the premises.