CRICKET: FORMER New Zealand international Jeetan Patel has been named as Warwickshire Bears’ new captain.
Patel will take charge of Specsavers County Championship and Royal London One-Day Cup games with the support of Dom Sibley, who has been named as vice captain.
Grant Elliott will continue as skipper of Birmingham Bears in the T20 Blast.
Patel, now aged 37, joined the Bears in 2009 and has been the overseas player across all formats since 2012.
Since joining Warwickshire, he has helped the club win all three domestic trophies – the County Championship (2012), T20 Blast (2014), and the One Day Cup (2016),
He has taken 353 first class, 102 list A, and 113 T20 wickets for the club and was named as the PCA County Most Valuable Player in both 2014 and 2016 and runner-up in 2017.
Ashley Giles, director of sport at Warwickshire CCC, said he was thrilled to have the New Zealand-born off spinner return to the club as captain.
He added: “Jeetan is a true Bear, and he sets exceptionally high standards on and off the pitch.
“He has played a key role in mentoring our young spin bowlers and we believe that he will be an excellent leader as we continue our transition and build a platform for more success in the future.”
Meanwhile Patel revealed he’s loved playing for Warwickshire in the past eight seasons and looks forward to appearing on the field again in 2018.
He said: “When you look at the guys who have captained the club over the years and what they have achieved, it is amazing to go on that list.
“It’s all about looking forward now though and working hard with the current group of players to try to create something special for the club and supporters in the years ahead.
“Last season was a difficult one but every club goes through transitions and the important thing is how people react. The challenge is there for us to rebuild and go again.”
Vice skipper Sibley arrived at Edgbaston in August and made an immediate impact in T20 cricket – scoring 191 runs in seven games to help Bears reach the final of the Natwest T20 Blast.
He also scored 310 runs in six County Championship appearances and is currently in Australia playing Grade Cricket.
Giles said: “Dom made a significant impact after joining the club at a difficult time last season and we saw some real fight and character in the innings that he played.
“He’s fitted well into the changing room and by working closer with Jeetan, Grant, and the other experienced players, we believe that he can also develop into an excellent leader.”