A desire to return to the England team is at the heart of Darren Maddy’s decision to join Warwickshire.
Maddy, who described himself as "Leicestershire- born and bred" believes a move to "a very successful county, with great traditions and expectations" can kick-start a career that was stalling.
"I want to challenge myself as a person and as a cricketer," Maddy said at Edgbaston yesterday. "I haven't kicked on as I might have done in the last couple of years. There’s a lot more I want to do. By joining such a strong squad, I hope I am challenged to maximise my potential."
Despite his struggles in Championship cricket — he’s scored one century in four seasons — Maddy has excelled in the limited-overs game. Indeed, he has developed into one of the best batsmen on the county circuit in such games and believes he is worthy of an England recall.
"I could understand not being included if England had a winning team," Maddy said. "But as that's not the case it has been especially disappointing. The selectors keep saying I'm close and hopefully the move will help.
"I've seen the likes of Ben Smith, Jimmy Ormond, Darren Stevens, Luke Wright and Iain Sutcliffe all further their careers with a move and it is my aim to push for international honours.
"I have ambitions to go to the World Cup. I was very disappointed not to be in the provisional squad."
Maddy was courted by "a lot of counties." Despite struggling to make Leicestershire's Championship side, those teams clearly saw something in the 32-year-old that was not fully utilised at Grace Road.
Warwickshire coach Mark Greatbatch explains: "Darren has the ability to strike the ball really well in one-day cricket, yet he's been a bit hesitant in the four-day game. We need to find a way to bring out his personality in both forms of the game."
Confidence would appear to be key. As Maddy explains: "At Leicestershire, we created an environment where players felt confident to express themselves [in limited-overs cricket]. We believed in ourselves and in each other."
That wasn't always the case at Edgbaston last year. The new management’s desire to succeed manifested itself in an anxious dressing room, but the arrival of Martin Love and Maddy should bring a positive, calming influence.
The arrivals also bring increased competition for places and some older members of the squad are likely to find themselves on the periphery. As one of the coaches remarked, somewhat menacingly: "they might as well retire now."
Maddy is likely to bat in the top three in one-day cricket, but can also bat in the middle-order in the Championship. One suspects that his preference is for opening. "I've opened for England but, in the last couple of years, I’ve been asked to bat in the middle order. Either is fine."
Certainly, the top order required strengthening. Only twice did Warwickshire’s opening stands exceed 50 in the 2006 Championship campaign. The high point was 65 which was the lowest mark for Warwickshire openers since 1899; a damning statistic and evidence that new recruits were necessary.
There will also be those who question the club's priorities in acquiring a 'limited-over specialist', though those who witnessed much of Warwickshire's one-day cricket last year would accept that help was required. Limited-overs tournaments do account for 75 per cent of the domestic competitions, after all.
Maddy, who reckons he has "another six years" as a player, refuted the suggestion he had chosen Edgbaston as it avoided the necessity of moving house.
"I'll be moving near to Edgbaston," he said. "I want to commit to Warwickshire."