The long road towards the 2017 season starts for the Bears on Monday when the players report back to Edgbaston after their post-season break.

The squad will return to training seven weeks after finishing the 2016 campaign on a high with Warwickshire by lifting the Royal London Cup at Lord's and then beating Lancashire in the last Specsavers County Championship match to secure their First Division status.

The players will reassemble still waiting to learn the identity of the new director of cricket following the departure of Dougie Brown at the end of the season.

As the search for Brown's successor continues, Bears captain Ian Bell is certain the coaching personnel already in place at Edgbaston will have the players well-prepared for when the new man arrives.

“The Director of Cricket is a very important role at any club and an opportunity at a club such as this will always attract interest from people all over the world" Bell said. "So taking some time to make the decision is absolutely the right thing to do.

"The club can afford to do that because we are in the fortunate position of having a top-class coaching staff in Jim Troughton, Alan Richardson and Tony Frost to keep things moving in the right direction. Jim, Alan and Tony know the guys inside out and know what they need and, working closely with Chris Armstrong and Gerhard Mostert, will make sure the players are bang ready to go when the new director of cricket comes in."

Bell will be at Edgbaston on Monday to begin his first full winter as captain. He is full of enthusiasm and ideas for the challenges ahead - and adamant that his mid-winter stint in the Big Bash with Perth Scorchers down under will not hamper planning for next season in the least.

"I will be 100 per cent in touch and involved with what's going on at Edgbaston all the way through," the skipper said. "With all the technology these days there is no reason at all why you can't keep fully up to speed.

"The dust has settled a little bit on last season now and it will be good to see the guys again on Monday and start talking about how we can improve and move forward. Last season was frustrating in a lot of ways and we all know we were too inconsistent in two formats, but there are only three trophies up for grabs every season and we won one of them so that's not bad."

Season Pass 2017

You can see Ian Bell and Birmingham Bears in action in all seven group matches at Edgbaston in the 2017 NatWest T20 Blast with a T20 Season Pass.

A Season Pass is priced at just £77 for all home games and be purchased by clicking here or by calling the Ticket & Membership Hotline on 0844 847 1902.

Brian Halford

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