Apr 022014

But neither could hope for a more heart-felt endorsement of his talents than the one provided by Warwickshire coach Dougie Brown.

Trott must wait until next week in The Parks to demonstrate he is back in the groove as a batsman, having made just four in his first innings since flying home early from the Ashes with a stress-related illness last November.

It was hoped he might get a second chance in his comeback match, Warwickshire’s two-day friendly against Gloucestershire, but instead Trott was confined to the dressing-room while openers Laurie Evans and Will Porterfield were granted an hour’s batting at Edgbaston before rain arrived and eventually forced an abandonment.

Bears coach Brown nonetheless saw enough, in Trott’s 19-ball stay in the middle on Tuesday, and his demeanour in practice, to be confident England’s Test number three is in fine shape again.

“Everybody in the country will be judging it on how many runs he scores in the first few championship matches,” he said.

“Personally, I’m judging it by how he is around the dressing-room … how buoyant he is, how enthusiastic and how much willingness he has to go out there and work really hard.

“He gets a massive tick for all of that from me.

“The runs – which everybody I’m sure will want to see, to confirm whether he has rehabilitated fully – will be a by-product of the stuff we’re seeing at the moment.”

While runs must be Trott’s currency if he is to return for next month’s opening one-day international against Scotland in Aberdeen, Giles will need to choose the right words at interview to broaden his England brief to that of head coach.

That is the situation vacant, and one which looked sure to be Giles’ until – on his watch as limited-overs coach – England concluded their miserable winter with an embarrassing defeat against minnows Holland at the ICC World Twenty20 two days ago.

Yet Brown is convinced his former team-mate is the right man to succeed Andy Flower for England, having already demonstrated his coaching abilities by bringing the county title to Edgbaston two years ago.

“He’s a top bloke,” he said.

“He’s done really well at Warwickshire, and not just in 2012 when we won the Championship.”

Brown also believes Giles responded well in adversity to England’s defeat in Chittagong.

“I think Ash handled the press really well at the back end of the Dutch game – which by his own admission wasn’t acceptable,” he said.

“I would like to see Ash get a proper crack at it and have a proper run at getting his own squad of players and the infrastructure, as we did at Warwickshire.

“Getting a wounded England side would be a great opportunity to do that.

“All I know is if he got an opportunity to be the team director he would do a really good job.”

He also expects Trott, who will make his first-class return to action against Oxford University next Monday, to start proving his class again soon.

“We’re delighted he’s with us in the frame of mind he’s in at the moment,” he said.

“He’s been brilliant. His work ethic, practice has been fantastic – and he’s great in the dressing-room.

“The last four months haven’t been the way he’d like it to have been … but he’s in a very good space, and I’m really happy he is.

“I’ll be really happy if he does get into that England set-up, because it will mean he’s performed really well for Warwickshire.”

After England’s Ashes drubbing, and its messy aftermath, Trott will not be the only player who needs to earn selection this summmer.

“Lots of positions that will be competed for … on the back of the winter,” said Brown.

“Trotty is just another name that goes into that pot of players.”

In the meantime, all at Warwickshire are doing all they can to help smooth Trott’s progress.

“There’s a lot of banter that goes on in the dressing-room, and you’d think something was wrong if that stopped,” he said.

“It hasn’t stopped.

“Clearly everyone was concerned for Trotty on the back of the winter.

“We’re pretty lucky we’ve got quite a caring, empathetic dressing-room – guys who actually do care about the guy sitting next to them.

“For me, that’s really important.”


Click for detailed story

May 032013
Dougie Brown berates Hove wicket

Sussex 416 for 7 (Wells 96, Brown 82*, Rankin 3-60) trail Warwickshire 453 by 37 runs

Luke Wells gets down to drive, Surrey v Sussex, County Championship, Division One, The Oval, 3rd day, April 26, 2013

Luke Wells fell just short of a century on a day where the match went nowhere © Getty Images

This is a hard-fought game between two excellent sides. The prospect of a fourth day in glorious conditions at Hove should inspire excitement. If it does not, it is no reflection on the players.

“For people who maybe don’t quite understand the game, they’re probably wondering why we’re bleating on about the pitch and stuff but in fairness: is that a first-class pitch? I would doubt it to be honest. We always thought the pitch would at some stage deteriorate. That might be at some time next month,” Warwickshire coach Dougie Brown said.

“It just killed the game completely. There’s nothing in there for anybody, batters included. Speaking to our batters it’s actually almost impossible to get the ball off the square. How you’re ever going to get a result on surfaces like this I just do not know, particularly when you use a heavy roller as well and deaden it even further.

“I just feel sorry for the people who’ve come to watch two very, very strong sides playing. What’s happened is the conditions haven’t really allowed for entertaining cricket.

“It’d be a bit like, in football terms, going out to watch some of the best teams playing and playing on grass that was a foot long. You can’t apply your skills like you could do on any normal occasion so that’s been disappointing. I don’t know about docking points or whatever, that’s not for me to say.”

And it was hard to argue with Brown’s assessment at the end of another day that, despite the high calibre of players on display, seldom rose above the turgid. It was just as well that the beer festival brought over 20 different ales – more than the 17 wickets to fall so far – to enjoy.

The only bowler to rise above the conditions was Boyd Rankin. While Chris Wright displayed perseverance, and Chris Woakes parsimony, Rankin was comfortably the most threatening of Warwickshire’s quick bowlers and deserved more than the three wickets he snared.

During one over in the morning session, he might have had a hat-trick. Luke Wells was denied a century by a yorker that made a wreckage of the stumps he protects with such care; Matt Prior was beaten for pace and could have fallen lbw first ball; and Ed Joyce was dropped by Tim Ambrose from a legside bouncer.

Rankin retired from Ireland duty last year and has declared his ambition to try and pursue a Test career with England. That must be considered very unlikely – he is nearly 29 and has a bad record with injuries (he was here returning from ten weeks out with a stress reaction in his foot) – but when he bowls with the hostility and searing bounce he showed here, it doesn’t seem inconceivable that England could show interest in Rankin as a reserve, tall impact quick bowler, behind Steven Finn and Chris Tremlett.

Brown certainly thinks it is possible: “Obviously going out to Australia, the conditions out there would suit him immensely. He’s a big tall lad – 6ft 8in – he bowls very fast, he bowls aggressively and when he’s on form there’s very few bounce bowlers in world cricket better than him.”

Rankin can do subtlety too, varying his angle by switching between over and around the wicket and using his yorker as an occasional weapon of destruction, as Wells could attest to.

After his early morning spell, it fell to Matt Prior to awaken spectators from their happy slumbers in the deckchairs. Three crunching drives off four Wright deliveries oozed purpose, but Wright soon had Prior caught by his friend and onetime Sussex colleague Tim Ambrose to a ball that moved late. And, to judge by the quality with which Ben Brown cut the ball in his unbeaten 82, another Sussex wicket keeper could one day also interest the ECB.

For now, their attentions are better turned to the merits of reinstating the heavy roller – a measure designed to mimic Test match conditions but one that risks undermining the pleasures of picturesque county grounds like Hove.

Mar 102013
Clarke talks up continuity


Click here for all the latest news from the domestic cricket scene, including exclusive interviews, team news, match reports and photo galleries

Rikki Clarke believes evolution rather than revolution is the key to ensuring continued success at Warwickshire.

Dougie Brown was handed the reins at Edgbaston in January and faces the unenviable task of replacing England’s new limited-overs head coach Ashley Giles.

Stepping into those shoes will not be easy given Giles ended a highly successful five-and-a-half-year stint on the back of last season’s LV= County Championship triumph and Clydesdale Bank 40 final appearance at Lord’s, in which they lost a thriller versus Hampshire.

Yet experienced all-rounder Clarke had advice for the new man in an exclusive interview with ecb.co.uk prior to Giles’ successor being revealed.

He said: “Whoever gets the job needs to understand that we are very settled in what we have got. I don’t feel we need someone to come in, turn it upside down and put their own stamp on it because we are quite settled with the way we go about our business.

Rikki Clarke

Rikki Clarke is hoping to help ensure Warwickshire continue their recent success despite Ashley Giles’ departure. “We need to keep that ethos,” he said

“It’s a job that you can come into as a bit like a new-build. The preparation is done, you do not need new carpets; it’s pretty much a case where you move in and it’s perfect.”

The environment created by Giles, Clarke feels, has been crucial to Warwickshire’s recent success.

It is perhaps best summed up by the enthusiasm England duo Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell show on the rare occasions they are able to represent their county.

“That’s a massive credit to them,” added Clarke. “I think it’s the environment and the team spirit we have got. We all get on and everyone enjoys each other’s success and the set-up we have as a whole.

“It is not just the players on the field who do the work; it’s behind the scenes; it’s the groundstaff; those in the offices; those everywhere else. It sounds like a massive cliché, but it really is a family club.

“Everyone knows each other and wants everyone to do well. I think that’s the environment we’ve created during Ashley’s reign here at Warwickshire.

“It’s up to everyone to continue that. Obviously, he is a big loss but he has a job that he thoroughly deserves because of his results with us.

“We need to keep that ethos and hunger for success that Ash helped implement. Hopefully, that happens and we can continue the success we had under him.”

It is maintained excellence that Clarke has his eye on – though he is aware of how difficult that is to achieve on an ultra-competitive county circuit.

A glance in the direction of Lancashire shows just that, given they followed up their 2011 triumph with relegation last season.

Clarke said: “We will be working hard again to try and retain the title and hopefully go to Lord’s again for another final. We are very optimistic that we can deliver next season.

“It is not going to be easy; there are a lot of good county sides and players out there, but it was not last year. A lot of hard work went into it and we’ve got to put that in again.

“The rewards are another trophy and fingers crossed we can do that.”

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

Jan 312013
County Cricket Round-Up - 31st January
County Cricket Round-Up - 31st January

County Cricket Round-Up – 31st January

Warwickshire’s coaching set-up is very much a home-grown affair, with Brown, Welch and Frost all former Warwickshire cricketers.

©Action Images / Steve Paston

Former England, Scotland and Warwickshire all-rounder Dougie Brown has beaten off competition from the likes of Graeme Welch and Ottis Gibson to be appointed Warwickshire’s new Director of Cricket.

The appointment of Brown – Warwickshire’s assistant coach of the past four years – ends months of speculation that began when Ashley Giles told of his intention to quit in order to coach England’s limited-overs sides.

Commenting on the news Colin Povey, Chief Executive said: “After a thorough search and assessment process, undertaken to assess the relative merits of the internal and external candidates, I am delighted by Dougie’s appointment. It will provide continuity after a successful 2012 in which we won the LV= County Championship title and ensure that the club’s established cricket policies and processes remain in place. Dougie knows the club and the current crop of players as well as anyone, so he is well placed to take the squad forward.”

Brown emerged as the early favourite for the role alongside bowling coach Welch, but Warwickshire were swamped with applications from around the world, including from West Indies coach Ottis Gibson, ECB Performance Director David Parsons and former New Zealand coach Andy Moles.

As consolation for missing out on the main prize, Welch has been promoted and will be Brown’s deputy, with former Warwickshire wicket-keeper Tony Frost becoming batting and second XI coach.

Warwickshire Chairman Norman Gascoigne, said: “I am pleased we have been able to make an appointment well ahead of the new season. Preparations for the new campaign are already in hand, but I am sure Dougie’s appointment will give these added impetus.” 

Brown added: “It is a real honour for me to be given this opportunity to lead Warwickshire Cricket with the strong coaching support of Graeme Welch and Tony Frost. As a club and as a squad we are in a good place at the moment but we are very determined to deliver sustained success on the pitch. This will only be achieved if we keep working hard, stick together and perform consistently. 

“Last year’s success is now just that – as Champions every other team will be looking to take our scalp so we need to be better prepared than ever. I am looking forward to our pre-season camp in Barbados and the fixture versus MCC in Abu Dhabi then we must hit the ground running.”

County Cricket News In Brief:
fast-bowler Ajmal Shahzad is among a clutch of county players of Asian heritage who are understood to be considering playing in the inaugural Pakistan Super League (PSL), a franchise-based Twenty20 tournament, according to ESPNcricinfo. Others, whose participation is less likely, but are believed to have expressed an interest, include Lancashire paceman Kabir Ali, Worcestershire all-rounder Moeen Ali and former Gloucestershire batsman Kadeer Ali.

Derbyshire are sending seven of their squad to Pune’s international cricket centre on 5th February. Batsmen Dan Redfern and Wayne Madsen will join seam-bowlers Mark Turner and Tony Palladino, wicket-keepers Tom Poynton and Richard Johnson, and left-arm spinner Tom Knight at the 11-day spin-bowling clinic. Last January, six Derbyshire players attended the same clinic ahead of their successful 2012 season.

Local employment specialists BrightonandHoveJobs.com have bought the naming rights to County Ground at Hove. Sussex’s home ground will, for the next three seasons, be officially known as The BrightonandHoveJobs.com County Ground. The company sponsored Sussex’s hospitality suite last summer.

The ECB has announced a loan scheme worth £1 million, which will be available to all 18 first-class counties. All but five of the counties have submitted business plans and will receive the money shortly with the rest expected to follow suit during the summer. According to the ECB: “The loans have been approved in return for meeting key strategic targets relating to stadia and facilities, customer relations, community programmes and business operations.” The ECB Board also approved a package of £420,000 to help cricket clubs hit hardest by flooding caused by the recent wet weather.

© Cricket World 2013

Open an account with bet365 today and qualify for up to £200 in free bets with our fantastic 100% Deposit Bonus.

Featuring YD Feedwordpress Content Filter Plugin