The Wright piece for the puzzle?
Now his permanent move to Warwickshire is complete, Chris Wright hopes he can be the missing piece in their LV= County Championship jigsaw.
Wright last month signed a three-year contract at Edgbaston, a move that would likely have go through sooner had he not booked a holiday in Cyprus for soon after the campaign.
Wright’s 22 wickets in his four championship appearances for Warwickshire were remarkable because he had been limited to as many games this year for Division Two Essex.
Having been the victim of fierce competition for places at Chelmsford, Wright knows he will have a fight on his hands at Warwickshire but is happy to be part of an impressive pace battery - including Chris Woakes, Boyd Rankin and Rikki Clarke who took 157 championship wickets between them in 2011.
“They’ve got quite a clear idea of what they want in terms of a squad of bowlers,” he told ecb.co.uk of Warwickshire. “They’ve got a nice group there who are good ages, a lot of different styles of bowling in that unit. Hopefully I can fit that bit of the jigsaw for them.
“Most county teams in an ideal situation want to have a group of bowlers where you can play a certain type of bowler on a certain wicket,” he added.
“It’s nice to have those options available. Bowling being bowling there’s going to be injuries as well and there’s the guys on the fringe of the England teams, who they’re missing, certainly in Warwickshire’s case. You need six or seven bowlers looking at getting in the team definitely.”
While Wright sees the virtue of competition for places, he thinks director of cricket Ashley Giles and his coaching staff having a variety of seam options is paramount.
“There’s going to be a good healthy bit of competition. That’s going to keep guys motivated,” he said before recalling his second Warwickshire appearance.
“It’s more about having the right options. We played on a wicket, against Yorkshire at Edgbaston, which basically was a bit slow and a bit sticky.
“Boyd missed out in that game purely because there were a few games coming up that were going to be a tough run-in, so it was an ideal opportunity to give him rest on a wicket that wouldn’t suit him as much despite the fact he’d had a terrific season.
“They’ll have hopefully a scenario where all the bowlers are in good form and being used in the right circumstances and kept fresh and motivated. It’s very positive for next year.”
Wright’s optimism for next season contrasts the frustration he felt at being left out of Essex’s championship side for much of this campaign.
First-team coach Paul Grayson evidently considered Wright best suited to the limited-overs game, selecting him for seven Friends Life t20 and as many Clydesdale Bank 40 matches this year.
“That was really frustrating,” Wright admitted. “I played the one-day games although I felt I’m as good in championship cricket as one-day cricket. There were times I felt I should be playing and I wasn’t.”
His season took an unexpected upturn when Warwickshire bowling coach Graeme Welch, who worked with Wright at Essex, recommended him to fill in for several international and injury absentees.
With the title in their hands, Warwickshire could not force a positive result against Hampshire at the Rose Bowl, making Lancashire’s 10th win - versus Somerset at Taunton decisive.
Despite missing the ultimate prize, Wright said: “The lads have had a real taste of it and everyone loved it, every minute of it.
“I’m sure going one better in the championship will be right up there. If you put a similar performance together, there’ll be a very good chance that you’ll win it next year.
“Lancashire were exceptional to win the league but how well Warwickshire did, nine wins, that’s pretty rare in itself. Somewhere near that again, you’d certainly be right up there.”