Warwickshire’s Twenty20 campaign continues on Friday when Derbyshire visit Edgbaston – the ninth of their 16 games in this year’s over-inflated group stage.
This, surely, will be the year (several years after many informed sources arrived at the conclusion) that the powers-that-be finally twig that the appeal of T20 has limits.
Attendances around the country are down with many numbering no more than would be expected for a routine 40 or 50-over game. And while the competition has, financially, shot its bolt, the sieve-headed notion of shoehorning 16 slogfests into just over a month has also had its impact on the players.
One example was Nottinghamshire’s weary performance at Edgbaston.
Another side-effect is the bailing out of T20 by captains to conserve their energies for when the important stuff, the county championship, resumes.
Among them is Warwickshire’s Ian Westwood, whose batting is more suited to the longer game, and who asked Jim Troughton to take on the captaincy in the shortest format.
It is Westwood’s intention to be at his freshest and most productive with the bat when the Bears return to championship action against Durham at Chester-le-Street on Monday.
“In one or two of the T20s I felt we were maybe an option short in the field,” he said. “With me dropping out for an all-rounder it gives us more flexibility while allowing me to have a break so I can be as fresh as possible for when we get back to championship cricket.
“We need to start firing in the championship because our batting wasn’t good enough going into the break and it’s crucial that we win some games in the second half of the season.
“I don’t see handing Jim the T20 reins as a big issue. With more T20 than ever before other captains have done it.”
Troughton, like Westwood a Bears product from boyhood having come through the ranks at Edgbaston, was delighted to take on the skipper’s role.
“The club is very close to my heart as I have been here since I was a youngster so it’s a huge honour for me,” he said. “I have skippered through the age-groups and in the second team but not the first team so there were a few butterflies before I went out that first time.”