What the papers said about . . . Warwickshire

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'Ken Palmer, after a suitably dramatic pause, pointed his dismissive finger at the Hampshire No 11, Jimmy Bovill, to raise the first hurrah of what promises to be a heavy weekend for Warwickshire.' Independent

'Neil Smith spun Warwickshire towards a pounds 150,000 Grand Slam jackpot - and his dad closer to a share in a pounds 100,00 betting coup . . . M J K Smith and 17 of the Warwickshire committee backed them to win the Championship and Sunday League and reach both Cup Finals.' Mirror

'Perhaps Dermot Reeve's greatest achievement has been to make the rest of the players accept Brian Lara, who won matches and caused dressing-room rifts.' Scotsman

'Warwickshire have taken team work to such extremes that it would be no surprise to see the 12th man helped with the drinks tray by the 13th, 14th and 15th men.' Sporting Life

'Mark Nicholas, the Hampshire captain, was once again left to strut the burning deck with 36 not out; he looked bewildered . . . the crowd, which by now had swelled to over 3,000, erupted with pure ecstasy and swarmed over the pitch.' Guardian

'On the day that the England selectors showed complete disregard for their players, including only one among the 32 who will make winter tours, Warwickshire reaffirmed their status as team of the year.' Times

'If you look at their team, and take out Brian Lara, they are strictly working class - but blokes like Reeve, Roger Twose, Tim Munton and Neil Smith can suddenly boss a game when things look bad.' Star

'It has been the speed of Lara's scoring, as much as its weight, which has enabled Warwickshire to win so many games, buying time for what can only be described as an ordinary bowling attack.' Telegraph