England batsman Ian Bell has told GiveMeSport everybody at Warwickshire CCC should be proud of their efforts in 2014 after a fine season saw them lift the NatWest T20 Blast trophy and finish runners-up in the other two domestic competitions.
The 32-year-old also played his part in the Bears success, having captained them in the opening rounds of the LV= County Championship and played a key role in the NatWest T20 Blast Finals Day at Edgbaston.
The midlands outfit also excelled in the Royal London One-Day Cup in reaching the final at Lord’s, only to be beat by Durham in a low scoring game. Despite the disappointment of defeat it meant they had reached two finals and finished second in the County Championship season to underline their consistency under the tutelage of Dougie Brown.
Bell was absent for the Lord’s final after fracturing a toe whilst on England duty as Durham won by three wickets in London. Even without their premier batsman the Bears competed well, something they had to do for much of the season with Chris Woakes also away with his national side.
However, that provided the platform for Jeetan Patel to shine with the New Zealand off-spinner ending the season with 107 wickets and picking up the FTI Most Valuable Player amongst county cricketers.
Bell has already compared the Kiwi to some former Warwickshire greats and he has exclusively told GiveMeSport he is proud of the Bears performance over the English summer.
“It’s been a good season, I suppose the aim in any cricket team, whether that be England or your county you are desperate for consistency,” claimed Bell.
Known as Birmingham in the 20-over competition, they lifted the crown on their own ground after beating Andrew Flintoff’s Lancashire by four runs. ‘Freddie’ actually dismissed Bell in the final in a rare appearance in the second half of the season and he explains having a talented squad leads to consistency.
“Warwickshire have won a trophy and came runners-up in the other two competitions which shows we have a strong squad that can deal with international call-ups and injuries and that’s what you’re after.
“To compete in all three and been there or there abouts right down to the last week is credit to everyone at Warwickshire and the fitness levels of the guys. It’s also great to give Jim Troughton a good send off as his last year as captain and into retirement.”