Dougie Brown insists that his ambition for this year is no less than to see Warwickshire retain the championship in his first season as director of cricket.
Brown will orchestrate the Bears’ defence of their title after succeeding Ashley Giles in the top job at Edgbaston.
Giles’ resignation last November came as a bit of a bombshell, albeit a not totally unexpected one, to Warwickshire.
But an appointment from within has helped maintain plenty of continuity in the playing set-up.
And the new chief sees no reason why Warwickshire should not be aiming for anything less than to compete hard again for success in 2013 – in all formats.
“It is really important that we go out there to win the championship again,” Brown said.
“In 1994 and 1995 we changed from Bob Woolmer to Phil Neale as coach and still won back-to-back titles. It can be done if you have the right structures in place and the right vision.
“Over the last few weeks we have reflected on everything – championship cricket, of course, but also the shorter formats where we also want to be successful. There are a number of areas in Twenty20 and 40-over cricket where we can improve.
“In T20 we have reached the quarter-finals more than any other team and last year we were very unlucky with the weather which was a big factor in us not qualifying from the group.
“As far as 40-overs is concerned, we should have won the CB40, needing one off the last ball, but in reality we were probably in the final by default anyway.
“Our 40-over cricket was fairly topsy-turvy. When we were good we were exceptional. When we were poor we were exactly that.
“But we have had a lot of good chats about why that can be. Jim Troughton and the players have identified areas where we can improve. That was a big focus in Barbados.”
As Brown prepares for his first season as director of cricket, he has his own new challenges to face.
So it will be a huge benefit to him to be working with an impressive captain for whom the players have trust and respect – and who looked in promisingly good nick with the bat during the recent stay in Barbados.
“Jim is a very impressive bloke,” said Brown. “He is really consistent with everything he does and has really grown into the role of captain.
“The guys respond to him and I am sure he will only get better and better as a captain and a sounding board in the dressing room. He is very straightforward and honest as a bloke and very clear about where he wants to go.”
• Warwickshire’s attempt to regain the Barbados T20 came unstuck at the semi-final stage at the hands of Derbyshire after they had won their quarter-final – against Derbyshire.
The late withdrawal of two Barbados-based teams after a financial wrangle left the six English counties to play the tournament among themselves and Derbyshire made the most of a second chance after the Bears had beaten them by four wickets in their quarter-final.
Derbyshire were restricted to 129 for nine and although, at 72 for five, the Bears still had plenty to do, captain Jim Troughton struck 42 to smooth his side’s path to victory. When the teams met again the East Midland county fared better with the bat, making 153 for six.
Only Oliver Hannon-Dalby, who bowled very well at the death, escaped heavy punishment, the former Yorkshire bowler ending with three for 19 from four overs.
Varun Chopra hit 61 from 43 balls and Troughton 47 from 38 but, despite an unbeaten 22 from Laurie Evans, the Bears fell two runs short.