Giles: “Their impact last year was massive”

Sport director Ashley Giles is delighted that New Zealand stars Grant Elliott and Colin de Grandhomme will be back with Birmingham Bears in 2018 after the “massive” impact they had in their first stint with the team.

The two Black Caps all-rounders were hugely influential as Birmingham powered to the NatWestT20Blast Finals Day last summer.

Along with long-time Bears favourite Jeetan Patel, they will again form a three-pronged Kiwi force at the heart of the Bears’ T20 strategy this season.

De Grandhomme’s explosive batting form has continued through the winter as he scored his maiden Test century off just 71 balls against West Indies in Wellington in December. Elliott’s value to the Bears team is colossal, with bat and ball and as one of the shrewdest captains in the game.

"He is like a fine red wine which just keeps getting better"

Ashley Giles

Giles is thrilled that the pair enjoyed their first campaign with the Bears enough to have no hesitation in signing up for a second.

“I’m absolutely delighted they are both coming back,” he said. “Their impact last year was massive, on the pitch and off it with their mentoring of younger players and how they added to the environment.

“Grant is just an exceptional bloke. He is like a fine red wine which just keeps getting better and he had an even bigger impact than I expected.

“By the end of last year’s tournament the impact they both had in the dressing-room was really big and I think Colin will be even better for us in his second year.

“He is such a selfless cricketer. Whatever the situation demanded last year he went out and played in that manner and if he’d been in for a couple of overs longer in the final we’d have probably just got over the line.

“He’s a fantastic cricketer who has been in really good form during the winter and he’s a Bear through and through now – a gentle giant who I think will hit the ground running in 2018.”

 

 

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