Warwicks to step up hunt for title, pledges Giles

Warwickshire’s director of cricket Ashley Giles has congratulated Peter Moores, his counterpart at Lancashire, on winning the County Championship but warned that he will be trying to take the crown next season.

Lancashire held their nerve on a thrilling final day of the season to win their first Championship outright in 77 years and deny Warwickshire their first since 2004.

Moores first won the Championship as coach of Sussex and Lancashire’s success came after he returned to county cricket after an unhappy stint in charge of England.

“Winning the Championship means the world because it is the competition to win still,” Giles said. “It is the best judge of a cricket team over a season. So I’m chuffed to pieces for Mooresy and Lancashire. I know they will be loving it and good on them, because we would be doing the same thing.

“After what he’s been through it’s a good turnaround for him in a couple of years to come back and do it again. It’s a good performance. But we’ll be chasing him next year.”

Giles admitted that if Warwickshire had pipped Lancashire to the title they would have been ahead of schedule, particularly as they narrowly escaped relegation 12 months ago.

“If we had won it this year we would have been ahead of schedule, which isn’t a problem. Second place I’m over the moon with, first place of course is that much better,” Giles said.

“There still growth to come from this side. I’m putting my neck on the line but I think we have a better pace attack than anyone in the country.

“Boyd Rankin and Chris Woakes, and Rikki Clarke is bowling better than ever. If we add Chris Wright to that pack, Keith Barker, Andy Miller’s in the background, it’s a pretty good bowling unit.”

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