ASHLEY Giles has robustly defended his policy of not hiring overseas “big hitters” for the Twenty20 despite Warwickshire’s slow start to this year’s competition.
Two defeats and a washout have left the Bears bottom of their group as they prepare to face Northamptonshire under the Edgbaston floodlights tonight (7pm).
After their poor campaign last year, Warwickshire have now lost 12 of their last 14 completed T20 games. But director of cricket Giles is backing his home-grown talent to blossom in the shortest format and remains passionately opposed to the concept of spending big money on a big name or two for the Twenty20.
“I really don’t want to do that,” he said. “I am not a believer in going out and signing a couple of names for T20. If all your purpose in T20 is to just make the Champions League then you are going to have to spend a lot of money. For me it is backing your own players. That is what we are trying to do.
“Other sides do it differently and that is absolutely fine but I don’t want to bring in a couple of short-term overseas guys.
"For me that takes away a lot of the hard yards that the other players have to do and the important parts of the game that you want the likes of Chris Woakes, Keith Barker and Stef Piolet to be doing. We want those players to be developing. Isn’t that what it is all about?
“If all we are interested in is winning the T20 then we would just go out and spend some money.
"That’s not our policy. Of course we want to win it but I don’t want to invest over £100,000 that goes straight out of the country. I’d rather invest it in players at Warwickshire who are going to take the club forward over the longer term.”
Giles’ long-term approach is laudable but sure to bring him a few critics in the immediate term if the Bears’ fortunes do not improve during this pivotal week of three games against Northampsonshire and Somerset at home and then Worcestershire away on Friday.
A bad week would leave the Bears’ qualification hopes in tatters but Giles insists it is still early days in a group which has yet to evolve properly due to the bad weather.
“There have been a lot of no results and sides are beating each other so we are still in it,” he said. “But, no question, we have got to start winning some games. We can do that. We have some very dangerous cricketers in T20.
“At the start of this season we have tried to forget last year’s campaign, which went completely the wrong way.
"We played against a very good side in the first game, were rained off in the second and ran into Duckworth/Lewis in the third so I don’t think you can read too much into it so far. But we have to start winning games.
“It would just be nice to get some games in among the rain so the guys can go out and play with freedom. When you have lost a few games you can tighten up. We don’t want that – we want them to just go out there, play cricket and have some fun.”