Jeetan Patel, the former New Zealand offspinner, has been named as Warwickshire’s new first-class and one-day captain, with Grant Elliott continuing to lead Birmingham Bears in the NatWest T20 Blast.
Patel, 37, joined the club in 2009 and has been their overseas player across all formats since 2012, during which time he has played a part in three domestic trophies, including the County Championship in 2012, the T20 Blast in 2014, and Royal London Cup in 2016.
All told, 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.
His appointment comes at a difficult time for Warwickshire, who were relegated from the top flight of the County Championship last season. Ian Bell, the former club captain stood down towards the end of the season following a loss of form, and was initially replaced by his former England team-mate, Jonathan Trott.
“We’re thrilled to have Jeetan returning to the club in April as our captain,” said Ashley Giles, Warwickshire’s director of sport. “He’s a true Bear, who has won all three domestic competitions at the club, and sets exceptionally high standards on and off the pitch.
“In addition to being one of the best cricketers on the county circuit for several years, Jeetan 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.”
Patel said: “I absolutely love playing for Warwickshire and it’s a great honour to return to Edgbaston in 2018 as club captain. 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.”
As part of that redevelopment, the club have named Dom Sibley as the new vice-captain, following his arrival from Surrey in August. Sibley, 22, made an immediate impact with 191 runs in seven T20 games to help the Bears to the Final of the T20 Blast, and he also scored 310 runs in six County Championship appearances.
“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,” Giles said. “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.”
Source: ESPN Crickinfo