Jim Troughton believes that Warwickshire's players are "as well-prepared as they can possibly be in the circumstances" for the new season following their weather-ravaged pre-season programme.
Rain washed out the third day of the friendly against Derbyshire at Edgbaston yesterday meaning that of nine scheduled days in warm-ups against Somerset, Durham MCCU and Derbyshire, the weather permitted cricket for just a day and a session.
That means the Bears will face Sussex in their Specsavers County Championship opener at Edgbaston tomorrow without having had a single full day in the field in pre-season.
It’s been like Groundhog Day and I think there is a bit of cabin fever among the players. They just can’t wait to get out there and play, hopefully against Sussex if the weather at last relents.Jim Troughton
Most counties have been similarly affected by the sodden spring, of course. And first-team coach Troughton believes the Bears have at least had the advantage of the marquee which has enabled them to keep preparing on grass.
“It has been very frustrating,” he said. “It’s been like Groundhog Day and I think there is a bit of cabin fever among the players. They just can’t wait to get out there and play, hopefully against Sussex if the weather at last relents.
“Being limited to a day and a session out of nine days is ridiculous really, but all the counties are in the same boat.
“I’m sure the guys are as well-prepared as they can possibly be in the circumstances. Gary Barwell and his groundstaff team have done a magnificent job in getting us as much practice as possible on the Colts Ground and the marquee has proved of massive benefit. Of course, we’d hoped to have been practicing in the middle for some time now but at least the marquee has enabled us to keep practicing on grass.
“The batters have hit a lot of balls and the bowlers have been bowling on grass. What the bowlers haven’t been able to do is spend a full day in the field with second and third spells and all that entails, but they have done absolutely everything we have asked of them in terms of practice and preparation.
“You can see the frustration in the players. They just want to get out there and play cricket. Hopefully they will get the chance to do that against Sussex. It has been a strange pre-season for all and it’s going to be an interesting first couple of rounds in the championship. Who starts the season strongest might all come down to which sides can just get on the park.”