Porterfield raring to go

By Matthew Sherry

The newly-named Birmingham Bears cannot wait to get their NatWest T20 Blast campaign off and running, according to Will Porterfield.

Porterfield et al did not feature last weekend as the curtain was raised on the new domestic Twenty20 competition.

The Ireland skipper, therefore, reports a side desperate to get under way against Yorkshire Vikings at Edgbaston tonight.

He told ecb.co.uk: “We have been waiting for a while; a few games have been and gone. It’s nice to be finally ready to go.

“I think it’s been good for our preparation; a lot of sides would have liked a week off in the build up to the T20 instead of going from the championship on the Wednesday to the T20 on a Friday.

“It is a fresh start, a fresh competition. Our last game of cricket was losing pretty heavily to them up in Yorkshire.

Ahead of Birmingham Bears' first game of the NatWest T20 Blast, Will Porterfield said: “We have been waiting for a while; a few games have been and gone. It’s nice to be finally ready to go."

“Hopefully we can put that right. It’s a fresh start, fresh everything. We want to beat them and that would make it slightly nicer.

“It’s more important that we get two points and get on the board in this competition.”

The main new start is the name, with the county moving away from Warwickshire in the shortest form.

“It’s different is Birmingham Bears,” added Porterfield. “It’s a good initiative from the club to try and get more people through the gates and engage more with the local community. I think it’s a great manoeuvre for the club.”

Tonight offers the perfect indication of why the format has been changed, with a raucous Edgbaston crowd likely to roar their side on.

“I think it will be in terms of crowds,” enthused Porterfield. “The more people that come through the games, the more revenue the club are making.

“From a player’s point of view, the atmosphere is going to be electric. People will finish work, have a few beers and make the atmosphere pretty special. 

“If the Friday night matches add a couple of thousand people onto the gate, which will make the atmosphere even better.

“Hopefully we can get on a bit of a run in this competition. We owe it to the Birmingham Bears fans to put on some good performances and make it through the group stage.”

For Porterfield, the challenge is to give those in attendance something to cheer about.

“At the top of the order, I want to get the lads off to a good start and set that platform,” he explained.

“I had a slightly disappointing tournament from a personal point of view last year; I only started to get going towards the end.

“Hopefully this year I can put in some big performances and set the lads off to a good start.”

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