Troughton: Lancs deserve title
Warwickshire captain Jim Troughton has admitted that Lancashire deserve to be county champions.
Last Updated: 15/09/11 7:01pm
Warwickshire captain Jim Troughton praised his side's efforts throughout the season as they came up just short in the battle for the LV County Championship title.
The Bears were frustrated by a placid fourth-day pitch at the Rose Bowl and the efforts of Hampshire centurions Neil McKenzie and Michael Carberry, who put on 182 for the fourth wicket and batted throughout this morning's session.
Troughton said: "We took the brave decision to bat first, which meant we'd have to bowl when the conditions were doing the least, but the effort over the four days was fantastic.
"I was saying to McKenzie he only had to face four balls at Liverpool, he ended up batting for about four-and-a-half hours today. We threw everything at them but they played superbly."
Despite a frustrating final day, Troughton took the positives from a season which exceeded all expectations.
"If you'd said at the start of the season we'd win nine games, you'd think that would be enough to win the Championship," he said.
"Congratulations to Lancashire, with 10 wins they are deserving winners.
"Apart from Shivnarine (Chanderpaul) I'm the only over-30 playing today, and I think we've used about 25 players throughout the season so that gives us strength in depth for years to come."
Warwickshire director of cricket Ashley Giles was also quick to praise Lancashire.
"Today has been a long tough day, and obviously it would have been great to finish the season as champions, but our congratulations must go to Lancashire," he said.
"This season has been a big turnaround for us and I think we're not a side who will be fighting relegations battles now. We've played some good cricket over the course of the summer and shown what sort of side we are."
Giles also defended the performance of his players after they struggled to take the wickets required for victory on a docile pitch at the Rose Bowl.
He added: "Today the players put in a lion-hearted effort, and I don't think they fell short, it was just a very flat pitch. The players didn't run out of steam, the wicket did.
"It turned a bit but we thought it would go up and down for seamers a bit more than it did.
"But looking around the county sides, I think we still have growth in us, with players like (Boyd) Rankin and (Varun) Chopra and many more.
"We have a good squad, with a good mix of experience and youth. It bodes well for future, certainly."
Giles hinted the Bears would look to strengthen the side over the winter in anticipation of another tilt at the title next season.
"I think these are exciting times at Edgbaston, but we won't be in back-slapping mode," he warned.
"The guys will have a break, but then we'll come back stronger. We'll look to strengthen in recruitment and from within. We'll look forward now."