2010 Proved to be the Springboard

Warwickshire's Specsavers County Championship campaign takes them next to Nottinghamshire on Sunday and the Trent Bridge ground which hosted one of their worst days in recent times.

August 17, 2010 was as, Jim Troughton put it, "a day of despair" - yet remarkably also proved to be the springboard to triumph.

The day brought ignominy to the Bears as they lost all 20 wickets in three sessions on the way to an innings-and-55-runs defeat to Nottinghamshire.

To be bowled out twice in a day (courtesy of Ryan Sidebottom, Andre Adams and Paul Franks) was a huge professional embarrassment. It also left Warwickshire staring relegation in the face.

In a very difficult year for the Bears it was, says Troughton, "rock bottom."

Troughton, who played in that game and will return to Trent Bridge next week as part of the Bears' coaching team, admits it was a horrible day. But what happened next, under director of cricket Ashley Giles and first Ian Westwood as captain and then Troughton, was spectacular.

First up, Warwickshire bounced back to win the next three games to secure their First Division status. Then the following season they finished as runners-up, denied the championship title only on the final day.

And the following season, 2012, they won it.

That's one hell of a reaction.

"You could say 2010 was an interesting year," Troughton recalls. "As a batting unit in red-ball cricket we couldn't buy a run. We had a few rock-bottom chats about how we batted but that day at Trent Bridge was most definitely the rock-bottom.

"Putting your pads on twice in a day is never great but having to take them off twice is something else. After we had been rolled the second time, one of Nottinghamshire's players walked past our dressing-room on the way and I heard him say 'they are s***'. That was the moment we knew we were a broken team and had to do something.

"We had a long chat which went round the room after the game but the one thing we didn't do at any point that year was split. We stuck together, the bowlers never complained about the batters and there were no divisions.

"And from that point we went on a fantastic run, not just for the rest of that season but the next two."

Therein lies one of the joys of sport, as illustrated so vividly by Leicester City, now Premier League champions having appeared nailed-on relegation fodder just over a year earlier. Triumph forged from despair.

"Moments of despair can really bring a team together," said Troughton. "In those moments you find out a lot about the blokes around you in the dressing-room.

"We stayed up then started the following season against Somerset at Taunton. We lost an early wicket and there was a sense of 'what's going to happen?' and I think Somerset thought they would roll us. But Will Porterfield , who we had signed in the winter, went in and got a quick 50 and that set the tone. Varun Chopra got a double century and we smashed them.

"We weren't 5,000/1 like Leicester were but we were certainly thought of as relegation candidates, but we finished second and then won it the following year. And in terms of what we achieved in 2011 and 2012.  Westy and Gilo take a lot of credit for what was put in place in 2009 and 2010.

"When you talk about the culture and environment you want to create, a lot can be taken from that day at Trent Bridge. It didn't feel great at the time but you look back and this it happened for a reason."

Brian Halford

Brian is Warwickshire's Club Journalist and has reported on the Bears since 2000.