Friday, February 26, 2010

Behind the scenes

Just back from Members' Nets and very enjoyable morning it was too. The temporary facilities for next 1 and a half seasons were interesting. You can see some pics i took here or see below for a few.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Bears double their profits

The club posted a £1.2 million profit last year, profits fuelled by Ashes revenue. The club will need to keep rolling in the money though to keep up repayments for the major ground redevelopment.

Shane Warne 'sends undies to cricketers'


"Shane Warne has revealed that he wants his ex-teammates to wear underwear from his new range.

The former cricketer [i thought he was still playing?], who recently teamed up with Diamond Cut International to design the Spinners collection, has been sending merchandise to fellow sports star Michael Clarke in the hope that he might wear them."

Thursday, February 18, 2010

England lose to themselves - but there are reasons to be cheerful

This isn't the first time an England side has been beaten in a warm-up game prior to a Twenty20 series but to lose to yourself is quite an achievement.

Ok, I'm exaggerating slightly as it was the England Lions, essentially the B team, who defeated the senior side by five wickets in Abu-Dhabi.

However, it is yet another stark reminder of England's continued failure to get to grips with the shortest form of the game, but in this case a positive is that the triumphant opposition are available for selection.

Of the Lions squad the headlines will no doubt go to wicketkeeper/batsmen Craig Kieswetter. The 22-year-old was playing for the South Africa Under-19s two years ago but decided to switch to England, only becoming eligible to play last week.

The Somerset right-hander certainly made up for lost time as he struck 81 off 66 balls - his third half-century on this Lions tour - to pile the pressure on his opposite number Matt Prior. Michel Lumb, another South African, hit a spirited 14 off the final over to secure a dramatic victory.

With the ball, Adil Rashid reaped revenge for being made to carry the drinks all winter by dismissing Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood and Eoin Morgan as Andy Flower's men slumped to 68-5 off 11.5 overs.

Although I agree Rashid could do with a little more county experience to really hone his game, he has been treated poorly by England, dragged along for tours and thrown in at odd moments. It appears the selectors don't have total confidence in his ability just yet.

I really hope it doesn't have a negative effect on the young Yorkshireman as he has the potential to become a world-class all rounder.

All in all it's not the best of starts especially after stand-in captain's Paul Collingwood's call for focus going into this short warm-up tour, with two matches against Pakistan to come and the World Twenty20 on the horizon. The cricket betting suggests England are in with a chance of winning the tournament, though they are by no means favourites.

However, the performance of Kieswetter is the shining light in the gloom of this defeat and he should earn a place in the senior squad sooner rather than later.

England will shortly head to Bangladesh for a Test series and the cricket odds suggest the visitors should have things their own way.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Member's Nets

I got my ticket, i am looking forward to seeing behind the scenes at the club. Not really sure what to expect though because i've never been before. But after a long hard winter (which might have some hardness yet to come) this is the first sign that the new cricket season is coming...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Development given green light

The ground redevelopment has been given the green light to proceed, which is just as well because the old pavilion and members areas have already been demolished. By the Summer of 2011 the shiny new ground should be completed, well lets hope so anyway. Capacity will be increased to 25,000, a figure which Sorrey are also aspiring for and which they say puts them in pole position to pick up an IPL tie-up. The Bears (or Super Kings) must be on the second row i would have thought. 6 county chiefs are in India desperate for deals, is Mr Povey one of them?

Two Royals

Hampshire have completed their link-up with Rajesthan and will compete as the Hampshire Royals in the T20 next season. They are one of a number of sides around the world who will share Rajesthan's name, prize winnings and so forth. Hang on arn't Worcester already the Royals? I can't wait till the 2 sides meet, it will be the battle to be the King of Kings!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Scotland appoint Michael Powell

Scotland has appointed Michael Powell as their "high performance batting coach". Not sure about him being a "former England ace" but the ex-captain was certainly a modern Bear hero. He will work with Scotland part-time, continuing to work as a PE teacher at a school too.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Bell signs on until 2012

Warwickshire have confirmed that batsman Ian bell has signed a contract extension that will keep him with the county until the end of 2012 season.

The England batsman made his debut for Warwickshire in 1999 and he has spent the whole of his career at Edgbaston. He has played 161 times and scored over 10,000 first class runs for the county. Bell has also become a regular member of the England team since making 70 on his debut against the West Indies in 2004.

Bell's coach at Warwickshire, Ashley Giles, was understandably delighted about the news and praised the batsman's talents as a player as well as his work as a mentor for the young players at the club. He told the Warwickshire website: "We are delighted to have Ian committed to the club for a lengthy period, he is a quality player and is a Bear through and through."

Former England spinner Giles went on to say that Bell's "experience of both domestic and international cricket make him a great role model for the younger members of the squad" and that the county will be happy to have him when he is available for selection.

Bell was equally pleased to sign on, stating that he has always felt at home with Warwickshire and has never seen himself playing anywhere else.

He said "I have been a Bear since I was a boy, Warwickshire is my cricketing home and I love playing at Edgbaston".

As for what the future holds for Warwickshire, he claimed that "the future of the club is hugely exciting under Ashley and I hope to be able to make a significant contribution to the success I believe we can achieve".

The sports betting markets make Warwickshire relative outsiders for the Country Championship, but they should fare better in the shorter forms of the game.

Meanwhile, Bell is preparing for England's tour of Bangladesh, a series which the cricket betting suggests the visitors will win easily.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

What should be the Bears' name?

Rajasthan Royals are looking to build their international brand by linking up with 4 other teams across the world including 1 in the UK, Hampshire are in talks. The linked up teams would also add Royals to their names. No doubt if this goes through then other IPL teams would follow. So what could Warwickshire end up as.

As my great-great-grandmother was born in Madras i have to hope for the Warwickshire Super Kings. Low tar of course!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

West Indies confirm Gibson as new coach

The West Indies have announced that Ottis Gibson has been appointed as its new head coach, starting for the upcoming home series against Zimbabwe.

The 40-year-old played two Tests and 15 one-day internationals for the West Indies and since 2007 has been working with the England side as a bowling coach.

Gibson was regarded as having played a crucial role in helping England regain the Ashes last summer and his contribution was praised by bowlers including Andrew Flintoff and James Anderson.

The Barbados-born cricketer will take the reins in his new post for the Twenty20 international and five one-day games against Zimbabwe, which commence on February 28th. The cricket betting makes the West Indies favourites to win this series.

However, he will not be at the helm for the West Indies games against Australia and David Williams will continue as interim coach before becoming Gibson's assistant.

Ernest Hilaire, chief executive of the West Indies Cricket Board, told Carribean radio station CBC that Gibson will take the role of "head coach" of the entire board and not just the senior team.

Hw said: "He will have responsibility for coaching right across all of our representative cricket teams.

"This will give him an opportunity to stamp a particular style of coaching, a West Indies way, across all the teams."

The cricket odds suggest the West Indies face a daunting task in the one-day games against Australia as their opponents recently completed a 5-0 victory in a similar series against Pakistan.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Development progress

Demolition of the old pavilion and member facilities continues. Of course if the residents are successful in their last ditch appeal against the redevelopment then that could be difficult. Maybe set up some patio furniture and tents perhaps. Phil Britt is keeping a photographic record of the mayhem.