Wright excited by balance of Warwickshire squad

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CHRIS Wright believes Warwickshire’s squad has a “nice balance” to it as preparations step up towards the new season, writes Brian Halford.

The Bears’ squad is now almost fully re-assembled at Edgbaston with players back from their various winter travels. Only captain Jeetan Patel (back home playing for his native Wellington) and Chris Woakes and Sam Hain (on England and Lions duty respectively) are still away.

Wright is “excited” by the talent around him in the first-team squad – and believes that as Warwickshire strive to get straight back up to Division One of the championship, they have a blend of youth and experience which could be very effective.

“There has been a lot of talk about transition and there is some of that going on,” he said. “But for transition to take place you need a lot of young players good enough to challenge for first-team places and senior players not performing. We’ve got plenty in the first category for sure but I don’t see anyone who will necessarily fall into the second next season.

“I just think we have got a really nice balance to the squad with young guys coming through and older players who have been there and done it but have plenty more to give.

“The lads are all back from around the world now and looking around the nets in practice last week I was thinking what a strong squad we have got. There has been some real high-quality practice and that makes me feel really excited about next season.

“We had a strong squad last season, of course, and we all know what happened. Relegation was a blow, there is no putting a gloss on that. The bottom line was that we just didn’t play well and, as a group, we need to hit back from that. We know it’s really important to start the season well and hopefully we can do that and then go on to challenge for promotion.”

Wright, who played in half the Bears’ championship matches last season, is eager to play a big part in 2018.

“My body feels good and I want to play a lot of first-team cricket this season,” he said.

“It’s great to have Pop Welch back as bowling coach. I really enjoyed working with Alan Richardson but I have worked with Pop before, both at Essex and last time he was at Warwickshire when he brought the best out of me. Hopefully that will happen again.”