Ashley Giles, Warwickshire’s director of cricket, has revealed that honouring the memory of Neal Abberley is his motivation for wanting to win the County Championship this season.
Warwickshire enter this week’s final round of matches as leaders for the first time this season. They lead Lancashire by just three points but know that a win with six bonus points against Hampshire at the Rose Bowl would clinch their seventh title and first since 2004.
But any Warwickshire success would be tinged with sadness following the death five weeks ago of Abberley, the former county batsman, who was part of Giles’s coaching team until he died from a lung complaint.
“As coach the ultimate honour or prize is to win the County Championship,” Giles said. “I would be as proud as Peter Moores would be or Geoff Cook would be I am sure.
“I would be following in the footsteps of the likes of Bob Woolmer and Phil Neale and for this club it would be a great honour, particularly in the 100th year since we first won it and with everything that has gone on with Neal Abberley. That remains the great thing for me. I can only speak for myself and if we were to get there it would mean a lot.
“I know that it meant a lot to Dougie Brown when we won the Second XI Championship on Friday. To win the Second XI and First XI in the same season would mean that we are going in the right direction. That is what Neal wanted. It has taken four years to get to this position, but I do think that there is a lot more to come.”