Bears legend Patel determined to end in style - The Solihull Observer

Bears legend Patel determined to end in style

Solihull Editorial 27th Aug, 2020   0

JEETAN Patel expects the emotion to come “flooding back” when he embarks upon the last lap of his brilliant Warwickshire career in this season’s Vitality Blast.

The club legend will return to the fold in the Blast opener against Somerset at Edgbaston on Friday.

His farewell season with his beloved Bears has been severely truncated by the pandemic but at least he will tread the Birmingham turf he has graced for so long a few more times.

It is a shame his return will be without the spectators with whom he has built up some a great rapport, but Patel knows the emotions will still run high.




“I can’t wait,” he said. “My last game for the Bears was back in late September last year and I am very excited to get back in there and prove I have still got it in me to compete against the best.

“I love coming back to Edgbaston. I love the club and the people and I am very lucky to have those friendships. To see all the guys again and have the opportunity to play in the Blast is fantastic.


“I’ve spent so much time thinking about it, the emotion is almost gone for now, but once I get back out there everyone knows how passionate I get on the field and I’m sure that emotion will come flooding back.

“It will be strange without spectators. When you play at Edgbaston you expect good crowds and you know they will support you very well, so it will be very different without them, but as a group we will have to find that energy within us and not let it affect us.

“The schedule is brilliant with five games in a week then a break and five more games in a week so if you get on a run we all know what momentum can do.

“I’m really excited about the tournament. We have younger guys who have stepped up now and shown what they can do and have the opportunity to take the club forward, first up in the Blast alongside more experienced guys like Ian Bell, Tim Bresnan, Olly Hannon-Dalby and myself.”

The pandemic has turned Patel’s farewell season for the Bears into a T20 cameo only, but the Black Caps ace has had the silver lining of some precious time with his family after two decades on the cricket treadmill.

“We were quite lucky in New Zealand,” he said. “We got into lockdown quite early and, to be honest, it was an opportunity to spend some time with the family which I hadn’t had a chance to do for a long time.

“It also gave me a chance to reflect on 20 years of hard graft. I am pretty proud of where I have been and what I have done but also excited about what’s coming next.”

Words courtesy of Brian Dick.

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