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Your favourite season
#1
Now that the 2018 is wrapped up, I find myself in my usual autumnal position; looking back at previous seasons and see how they compare, no statistics or comparisons, just in terms of personal enjoyment.

I am pleased to say that of the cricket I have seen at Edg and the away Championship match at Lords, I have largely enjoyed what I have seen (Probably because we weren't being annihilated each week as in 2017!)

In terms of previous seasons; I have 2 favourites. My first game was in 1992 and I was lucky to grow up watching the great team of the early / mid 90s. On that basis, my favourite Bears season, unsurprisingly, has to be 1994; we accomplished feats in that season that will probably never be beaten, I can still remember what felt like half the population of Birmingham being on the ground after the final Sunday League game at Edgbaston. Storming the Championship, Lara's 501, the B&H too. As we all know, we could have gone one better by completing a clean sweep but we lost to the Pears in the Trophy final, but looking back on it Worcestershire had a strong one-day team that year too; they would probably have won the Sunday League any other year with that team. My only criticism of that season? Well I was only 11 at the time and I assumed it would always be that easy! Sadly another 24 years of watching Warwickshire quickly shattered that illusion...

My second favourite season was 1996; strange as we only picked up the Second XI Championship, but I remember almost all of that season vividly. At the time, the volume of people shouting for a 2 division Championship was becoming deafening, so I loved the irony of one of the most down-trodden counties winning the Championship. Leicestershire seemed to consist entirely of cast-offs from other counties, young players (None of whom really seemed to live up to their potential) and journeymen. Checking my 1997 Wisden, they were offered odds of 45-1 to win the Championship at the start of April. However they played some good attacking cricket and in the end deserved their Championship, which they followed up with an equally unexpected Championship in 1998. Looking back at the table, 2 things stand out; Leicestershire won with Derbyshire second (Obviously these were they days before the "Triumberate") and also, comparing 1995 and 1996, none of the previous year's top 4 are in the top 4 for 1996 and only Essex are present in both top 6s; that simply would not happen now. 1996 and 1997 (When equally unfancied Glamorgan won the Championship) proves the depth of interest in cricket in this country and whilst I cannot argue for a return for a 1 division Championship, these two seasons are prima facie evidence that we should never disregard the smaller counties.

So now, over to you; what are your favourite seasons?
Bears fan, Wolves fan, blood red Socialist, a not so vital statistician...
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#2
Having just seen on TV Lara overtaking Sobers' record score I was at a function at Edgbaston and picked up the application to become a member. I thought I would sneak a couple of hours off work to enjoy a couple of relaxing hours watching the team and at weekends watch one or two Sunday League games. Such was the impact I ended up following the team around the country in all the competitions. Yes 1994 was an incredible year with very little work done by me that summer!!
LE - aka John
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#3
In 1994 out of a total of 43 games in all competitions, we lost just 5. Only one of those mattered and that was the Natwest final where we had to bat twice at 10.30 due to the game being carried over. After weeks of bright sunshine we got to Lords to find a soaking wet pitch to bat on. Bloody stupid. We lost only 1 game away v Yorks in Sunday league and our form in 1995 away from home was also better - Proving Mike Brearley wrong on his assessment that we played on seamer friendly pitches. Well Mr Brearley, if we did, why did we play 2 spinners every game. In 1997 had Tim Munton been fit to play we would have won the CC easily, there were games where we came close v Hampshire where the last pair held out for 7 overs for a draw and v Notts where they followed on and some nagging Munton line and length was called for. 2002 was also a superb year, winning the B&H Cup, 3rd on Sunday's and 2nd in CC. We beat Yorks in a real high scoring game at home which had so many runs and was a record at the time and v Sussex on last day of the season (A Saturday) we chased over 400 to beat Sussex after nearly following on until Carter hit 100 from 67 balls. 2004 was a season where we had loads of sun and runs and where we got criticized for winning the CC with only 5 wins - But, we didn't lose any games and never really looked like it. If I remember rightly, the lowest score we were bowled out for was 265 and our batting was so good that just over half way through the season, Tony Frost was averaging over 100 from number 8 and Brad Hogg moved up the order to number 6 on occasions. We scored over 400 ten times in a row (A world record) but struggled to keep sides much below it and the games petered out into draws - Don't suppose it crossed the minds of other captains to declare 100+ behind, we might then have set a target instead of them moaning because we drew so many games. Most of my favourite seasons are really when we picked up a trophy or 2. What I do remember about the above seasons is more younger people in the crowd. We have been lucky to have so many memorable seasons as the 70's and 80's were so depressing that I did wonder if we would ever win another trophy. From 1969-1988 just 2 and from 1989 to now, 14. That's not too shabby and no other county (No not you Surrey) can boast that many titles.
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