England batsman Jonathan Trott will return to competitive cricket for Warwickshire at the start of April in their friendly fixture against Gloucestershire on 1st of that month. If all goes well, he will then take part in the Bears’ first-class match against Oxford MCCU ahead of their opening LV= County Championship match.
Trott returned home from the Ashes tour in November after the first Test due to a stress-related illness, but will be desperate to regain the number three spot in both England’s Test and ODI sides that has struggled to be satisfactorily filled in his absence.
Dougie Brown, Warwickshire Director of Cricket, confirmed that Trott would miss the club’s pre-season tour to Barbados, but that he was feeling well: “Everyone at Edgbaston will be thrilled to see Jonathan return to training after the club’s pre-season tour of Barbados, and take to the field at Edgbaston in the 2014 season,” he said.
“Having met recently, he looks in great shape and is certainly hungry to score plenty of runs for Warwickshire. He’s been a crucial member of the England set up for nearly five years and I am certain he will be back as England's number three in the near future.”
Trott thanked people for the support they have given him over the past few months, saying, “I’ve been overwhelmed with the kind messages of support from players, coaches and fans over the last few months, and I’m really looking forward to joining up with Warwickshire ahead of the new season. We’ve got a strong squad that’s capable of challenging for trophies in all competitions, and I’m determined to play a big role and hopefully contribute to more success for the Bears in 2014 and beyond.”
Lancashire are hoping to have unearthed another fast-bowling gem from Burnley CC after signing 19-year Cole Hayman on a scholarship contract for the 2014 season. Hayman, who played a starring role for Burnley as they secured silverware last season, is keen to follow in the footsteps of that club’s most famous son: James Anderson.
Hayman told the Burnley Express: “I’ve had conversations with coaches about Jimmy. He’s been at training and seen me bowling in the nets. There’s a lot of hard work to be done until I’m at that level but it was good to see him around. Jimmy goes about his own business so you don’t want to disturb him but I’ve said ‘hello’ to him a few times. It would be great to emulate his success. Like Jimmy, my technique is a bit different which is good for me. I wouldn’t get the pace with my bowling if my actions were altered. Luckily they don’t want to take that uniqueness away and that should benefit me.”
Hayman was actually locked in a battle for his services between two counties, with Somerset also keen to secure his signature, but chose his home county. He took six wickets for their second XI last season having previously been a part of Lancashire’s Under-17 and Under-19 sides. He cut short his winter cricketing stint, where he was playing on New Zealand’s North Island, to put to pen to paper with Lancashire.
Explaining his decision, he said, “I’m really happy about it. Somerset were in touch with me so it was a big decision. But I’m a family-oriented person so I chose Lancashire because it’s closer to home, it’s my county and it gives me the chance to continue playing for Burnley. My heart was always with Lancashire because I’ve been with them for two years and I’ve built up a rapport with people at the club. I think anybody, given the choice, would’ve preferred Lancashire. It’s just a real honour to represent your county and it obviously means more. There’s an added incentive to do well because it’s where you’re from. You’re more determined to do well and succeed. This is a massive opportunity for my career.”
Flood-ravaged Worcestershire have received a boost ahead of the new season after extending their sponsorship deal with local firm Arctic Spas. The hot tub manufacturer were Twenty20 sponsors in 2013, but will now be the club’s main sponsor across all formats for the next three years after agreeing a six-figure deal.
Worcestershire chief executive David Leatherdale said: “Arctic were with us last year and for them to come on board for three years as the main shirt sponsor shows confidence from them in the club. This is now a very different business that sponsors are buying into and, with the new facilities, we can offer a diversity that we didn't have before that people are keen to be involved with.
“We’ve had some long-term main sponsors in the past and to get someone who came on new and fresh last year just for one specific thing, and then take it across all three formats of the game, shows what cricket has got to offer.”
David Martin, Arctic Spas’ president of UK operations, added: “The progress Worcestershire have made with their infrastructure and buildings was a massive part for us. They are certainly looking to the future and have all the steps there to take Worcestershire cricket back to where it used to be, at the top of the tree.
“We don’t go into anything blindly, so I have read up on the club and who has been involved and the history. You need to take everything into consideration when you are doing any sort of sponsorship and I just felt the way they are looking forward, with the history behind them, is a good mix for Arctic Spas.”
© Cricket World 2014