Jan 042013


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Assistant coach Dougie Brown has warned Warwickshire that being the Champion County will present an added challenge next season.

Brown assisted director of cricket Ashley Giles last season as Warwickshire emerged triumphant in the LV= County Championship.

A new era beckons next time round, with Giles swapping his domestic role for an international one after being appointed England’s limited-overs coach.

His successor has yet to be named, with Brown throwing his name in the hat recently.

Yet the Scot is more focussed for the moment on ensuring Warwickshire do not follow in the footsteps of Lancashire last season and suffer relegation immediately after winning the title.

“I don’t for a one minute think that Lancashire were complacent,” he told ecb.co.uk.

“They were the Champion County, the ones everyone wanted to beat and we need to be very wary that it’s going to be the case with us.

“We’re not assuming for one minute that just because we did well this year we can be entitled to achieve the same next year without putting in anything extra.

“A lot will come down to getting our preparation right. We have identified one or two areas that we can improve on as a team and the guys are working towards that.”

Rikki Clarke

Dougie Brown says Rikki Clarke “is a much better player now” than the one who appeared for England 10 years ago, and hailed Warwickshire’s array of all-rounders as playing a “massive part” in the club’s success

One thing Warwickshire have in their favour is an array of all-rounders who almost always seem to contribute in some way – something Brown feels is a big factor in their success.

“Their performances have been recognised,” he added. “Every single one of them have played a massive part in what Warwickshire has achieved.

“Rikki Clarke had a taste of England cricket a few years ago and I think he is a much better player now, a much more consistent performer.

“He’s an exceptional cricketer and has been pivotal to our success this season, both with bat and ball.

“Keith Barker is learning his game day on day and he’s been on the England selectors’ radar as well. He’s just come back from Hong Kong recently.

“And of course we all know what Chris Woakes is capable of. His batting is improving season on season and there’s no reason at all why he can’t be knocking on England’s door as a genuine all-rounder, not just as a bowling all-rounder like he probably was a couple of years ago.”

Want to know what’s happening at your county? Interested in how your rivals are faring? Look no further than ecb.co.uk’s county-by-county page

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