Giles all smiles as CB40 looms
Director of cricket Ashley Giles is still smiling about Warwickshire’s Clydesdale Bank 40 triumph last year as they prepare to begin the defence of their title.
The Bears meet Hampshire Royals at the Rose Bowl on Sunday, one of 10 matches over the opening Bank Holiday weekend.
Giles knows the underdog tag which served Warwickshire so well last year no longer applies, but he is hoping they can carry the feelgood factor from their memorable day at Lord’s into this summer’s limited-overs campaign.
“We look back with great pride and it brings a smile to our faces,” he told ecb.co.uk. “It’s always great to play at Lord's and to win a showpiece final is great for any side.
“It was an amazing evening. After quite a tough season it was just reward for all the hard work we put in.
“After the pressures of the whole season, every coach with any county would love winning a trophy. On the last day of the season, to let it all drop off your shoulders...
“I was really pleased for the guys because they did stick at it really well for the last six weeks of the season.
“All the way through the back end of the group stages, semi-final and final we were underdogs. That’s not a bad place to be.”
Giles claims “momentum is everything” in one-day cricket, and labels this weekend’s meeting with Hampshire as “a big start for us”.
He also sees no reason to alter the template employed so successfully last summer, in particular their approach with the bat.
“We like to be aggressive with our batting up front,” Giles added. “Often we’ll play two pinch-hitters in (Neil) Carter and (Keith) Barker, even though I hate that term because they’re both good players.
“That lengthens our batting all the way down, so when you’ve got players like Rikki Clarke, Ant Botha, Chris Woakes, who can hit big balls at the end, you can maintain the momentum of your innings all the way through.”