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Lord’s finale is enough to fire up Bears – Rhodes

Captain Will Rhodes believes the chance to lift silverware at Lord’s will be sufficient motivation for Warwickshire in this week’s Bob Willis Trophy.

Warwickshire captain Will Rhodes
Warwickshire captain Will Rhodes

The Bears players and management have been on cloud nine since clinching the County Championship last week, with Rhodes yesterday admitting to having worn his winners’ medal to bed.

But the questionable scheduling of the Trophy, which will see Warwickshire take on runners-up Lancashire over the next five days, has required the skipper and his team to quickly refocus. Rhodes believes the chance to star at the home of cricket, in a match which will be broadcast live on Sky Sports, will help that process.

He said: “There were a few grumblings after winning the championship that we have to play another game and it might tarnish what we have achieved.

“But once you get here to Lord’s and start training at the place, that is all the motivation you need. It is not often you get to come to Lord’s and it isn’t often you get to play in a final.

“There is another bit of silverware on the line and to have two pieces in the cabinet rather than one makes it extra special.

“It is strange. We have not been used to it before but when you come to Lord’s and see the history of the place, that is all you need. We are ready to go.”

Chris Woakes is unavailable after playing in the final two rounds of the championship and helping the Bears clinch the title.

That will open the door for either Ryan Sidebottom, George Garrett or Oldbury teenager Manraj Johal to step into the bowling attack, with the Bears also expected to assess Craig Miles and Liam Norwell, both of whom have taken on significant workloads this season, prior to this morning’s start. West Indian seamer Chemar Holder did not travel with the squad following a largely underwhelming stint as the club’s overseas player.

“There are a lot of tired bodies but this game also represents an opportunity for quite a few lads,” said Rhodes.

“The likes of Dom Sibley, in front of the cameras, to show how good he is. Rob Yates as well. He has played a little bit of white-ball in front of the cameras but this is a chance for him.

“There is a lot on it for a few guys, winter selections which might happen on the back of this game. It is not one to take lightly and I am sure the guys are looking forward to it.”

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