Worcester: Warwickshire made amends for its final-day heartbreak last season by winning its first English county championship title since 2004.
The club side of England batsmen Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott and New Zealand spinner Jeetan Patel beat Worcestershire by an innings and 202 runs at New Road to put Sussex, Warwickshire’s nearest challenger, out of reach with a match to spare.
Twelve months ago, Warwickshire required only seven wickets on the final day of its match against already relegated Hampshire to secure the championship, but missed out to allow Lancashire to win its first title in 77 years.
“Last year, as much as that hurt, is what’s pushed us on,” said captain Jim Troughton, moments before lifting the trophy. “We made it our responsibility to push on in the winter and to win with a game to spare is amazing.”
Warwickshire’s run to a fourth title in 18 years has been helped by the form of opener Varun Chopra, who has scored 1,000 championship runs for the second year in succession.
That has boosted his outside hopes of an England call-up for the upcoming tour of India, with a spot open at the top of the batting line-up following the retirement of Andrew Strauss last week.