First-team coach Jim Troughton believes that Warwickshire could benefit from plenty of input from their England stars when the 2019 season starts with a block of six County Championship games.
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The Bears will launch their campaign away to Somerset (Sunday April 12) at the start of six weeks devoted exclusively to four-day cricket before the Vitality Blast begins with a visit to Notts Outlaws on Friday May 29.
Somerset away will be an interesting start. It is always a tough game down there but it gives us a chance to start the season with an eye-catching performance.Jim Troughton
By then, the championship season will be almost at its halfway stage, its direction well and truly set. So the fact that England’s Test matches do not begin until quite late next summer could favour the Bears, reckons Troughton.
“Hopefully, we could see quite a lot of Chris Woakes and Dom Sibley in those early games,” the coach said. “We hardly saw Chris last season so it would be great if we could have him for a few games and the way the fixtures stack up, that could happen.
“Somerset away will be an interesting start. It is always a tough game down there but it gives us a chance to start the season with an eye-catching performance.”
The 2020 fixtures introduce a new element to English cricket when the launch of The Hundred. Birmingham Phoenix play their first game, against London Spirit, at Edgbaston on Saturday July 18, with the Bears starting their Royal London Cup campaign, which will include two home games at the Edgbaston Community Sports Ground, Portland Road, two days later.
Troughton will be involved with The Hundred as Phoenix assistant coach but will also have an input to the Bears’ 50-over programme. And he believes the latter will deliver an excellent environment for Warwickshire’s younger players.
“There are still the wildcard picks to come, but the way the Hundred draft went we will have some top players playing 50-over cricket next season,” he said. “They will be brilliant for the younger guys to be around. As well as a great environment for the emerging players to play in, it means we will hopefully deliver some really exciting 50-over cricket for the supporters.”
“I am very excited to be involved in the Hundred but will be very close by for the Royal London Cup campaign and having some input where appropriate.”