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Cricket County Championship Begins

Warwickshire ‘Bears’ kicked off the County Championship against Northampton today chasing more cricket silverware for their Edgbaston trophy room.

Chief Executive Dennis Amiss says:

"It would be nice to win one trophy and I think we are capable of doing so. The team has come back from South Africa having won its two friendly matches.

"It was well looked after by our old friend and opening batsmen Andy Moles who is coaching Orange Free State and the players have come back very fit."

This season sees the return to the county of the South African pace bowler Allan Donald, but Warwickshire might have to wait some weeks for his presence to have any impact on their campaign. He is an important part of his country’s World Cup side and if they go right through to the later stages of the competition it could be June 20th before he can take his place in the Warwickshire team.

The county is also likely to have one or two players in the England squad, which would dramatically weaken its ability to chase trophies.

The Bears suffered an additional blow when Dominic Ostler collected a cracked anklebone in South Africa and he misses the opening two weeks of the season.

Brian Lara captained Warwickshire last season, but the West Indian test captain has been replaced by Allan Donald this time. The new skipper is off spinner Neil Smith who was in tremendous form with bat and ball last season.

The Bears prefer to play five bowlers to give them a great chance of winning matches, but that line up does rely on the bowlers chipping in with their share of the runs. Smith will be looking to Ashley Giles, Dougie Brown and Graeme Welch to help out the top order batsmen in that respect.

But there is no doubting that, on their day and with a full complement of players, Warwickshire are among the stronger counties and well capable of lifting some silverware.

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