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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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Warleybear
#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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#4
Interesting article by Dennis Amiss about 1994:
https://warwickshireccc.com/news/amiss-r...-campaign/
Note in particular:
Re Brian Lara:
"We signed him for forty grand the day before he broke Gary Sobers' record for the highest Test innings. We knew we'd got him cheap."
And also:
"We had 18,000 members"!
Keep up-to-date with County Cricket at http://deepextracover.com/
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#5
What a pity they haven't kept hold of the 18000. And given the comments about Lara I would love to know why they agreed to make him captain when he came back 2 years later.

But oh what a season '94 was - As the songs go -Ah I Remember it Well and Simply the Best
LE - aka John
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#6
Has to be the 94 season. Was lucky enough to be at the ground the we won the championship, the Lords final, and also went to Bristol to complete the treble. I did miss Lara's 501 annoyingly because on leaving work had pick up my car from it's MOT, so i was very dissapointed that day not to get to the ground.
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#7
I was working in Ladywood at the time so could have got there easily to see the 501* but when I heard that the demon bowling of John Morris was being seen, I thought it was a little farcical with Durham trying to get their over rate up rather than trying to stop the highest ever score being made against them. Remember being at Bristol for the last Sunday league game and rumours around that Lara was not going to play and Amiss told him in no uncertain terms to get there pretty sharpish. There were lots of rumours about of his reluctance to play certain games. The only reason he was made captain in 1998 was because that was the only way he would agree to play for that season. This had a bad effect and caused Tim Munton to look for a new county.
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#8
My memory of that game at Bristol was that we lost a few early wickets and were heading for a shock defeat but it was Lara that turned it round until he was given out by a catch that was clearly grounded near to where I was sitting. As I am 24 years older I stand to be corrected by those younger than me!!
Which year was it that LAra turned up late at, I believe, Somerset having gone back to Trinidad for a business deal - at least that's how the rumours went!

I did see the first 100 of the 501 on the Friday afternoon. Saturday was washed out and I thought there was no point in going on the Monday so off to work. Spent the afternoon phoning the score line operated by Warks in pre-internet days - what an expensive way (compared to today) of keeping up to date with the Bears!
LE - aka John
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#9
(24-10-2018, 07:13 PM)Leicester Exile Wrote: My memory of that game at Bristol was that we lost a few early wickets and were heading for a shock defeat but it was Lara that turned it round until he was given out by a catch that was clearly grounded near to where I was sitting. As I am 24 years older I stand to be corrected by those younger than me!!
Which year was it that LAra turned up late at, I believe, Somerset having gone back to Trinidad for a business deal - at least that's how the rumours went!

I did see the first 100 of the 501 on the Friday afternoon. Saturday was washed out and I thought there was no point in going on the Monday so off to work. Spent the afternoon phoning the score line operated by Warks in pre-internet days - what an expensive way (compared to today) of keeping up to date with the Bears!

You're right about the Gloucestershire game - 3-3 with Ostler, Neil Smith and Roger Twose all out for nought before Lara and Trevor Penney had a stand:

I was there with my daughter; and on the dvd of the season (or more likely a video cassette), there is a clip of Pat Murphy interviewing Lara on the outfield when he had at last turned up; and my daughter wanders across in the background.
I also remember being at Taunton for the Somerset game but I can't quite pin down when it was.  I vaguely recall (because I'm a lot older too, LE) that there was some question of where his club rental car was in relation to where he was flying back to - it was in Heathrow and he was at Gatwick or maybe it was the other way round.
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#10
The Somerset game was early on in the season and we were left with a last day chase which was 321 and we got it thanks to another Lara ton and we only had about 56 overs to get them. Somerset were not happy that it was drizzly and they thought the game should not carry on but the umpires seemed to be thinking of Lara's entertainment value and seemed reluctant to come off. I remember having had the Thurs (Eng v NZ O.D.I EDGBASTON) /Fri off and went to the pictures to see 'Four Weddings...' and when I came out I turned on the radio and heard that we were close to winning. Lara got 136 and Din got a few at the end. In the last game when we clinched the treble, I remember getting back from Bristol very late because the coaches were parked at Bristol Rugby club car park and no one knew who to contact as the gates had been locked.
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#11
Going to go against the grain and pick the following year - 1995.

AD came back and I think we looked a better all round team as a result.

Peerless in the championship which we secured at Canterbury.

AD effectively bowled out Kent on his own 2nd innings having "retired hurt" a couple of their batsmen first time round! I remember a blinding catch off him taken by Piper that dark, drizzly Saturday afternoon. That was AD at his best - pure controlled, snarling aggression. 


http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/8704/...nship-1995

We went down for the weekend - Sunday League games still played in the middle back then.

We were still in with a shout of the Sunday League as I recall but it needed some unlikely combination of results. In the event I think we beat Kent but they won the league because Worcestershire lost. I remember Matthew Fleming stopping mid run-up and jumping for joy when he heard the Pears result

And we'd secured the NWT at Lords the week before v Northants after some fairly friendly umpiring from Mr H D Bird. 

I think that was probably AD's best season for his and the contrast between him - honorary Bear  - and Laras's skittish attitude in 1994 was marked. Take nothing away from Lara but there was undoubtedly disquiet in the dressing room during his 1994 sojourn - see Dermot Reeve's autobiography for details.

That year might have been only 2 trophies instead of the 3 in 1994 but I think enjoyed it far more.
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narsty simon
#12
Agreed 100%Dave C1995every time, no one disputes Lara's ability but he became bigger than the club, I always ask the question :what's the difference between ADand Lara? AD played for Warwickshire, Lara played for himself and was undoubtedly the worst captain@the club in my lifetime, 95proved we could be successful after the big time Billy
His3world records never produced wins for his teams
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#13
In 1995 we won 14 out of 17 games and did look a better side. In that last sunday league game, we had no chance of winning it as the week before we had Derby at 95-5 and it rained whilst Kent with a superior net run rate, managed to win at Old Trafford where they astonishingly had no rain and that meant only that Kent had virtually won it before the match started with only Worcestershire in with a chance of catching them but they got rained off. I remember on TV seeing the Kent players all looking chuffed as the news came through that they had won because Worcs v Glam was abandoned.
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