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Group 1, Birmingham, May 06 - 09, 2021, County Championship
343 & 70/3

Match drawn


Dom Sibley, Chris Woakes poised to return after missing Warwickshire's draw with Worcestershire

Jack Haynes has a day to remember despite his century quest being cruelled by misfortune

George Dobell
George Dobell
Dom Sibley returned to Warwickshire duty, Warwickshire vs Derbyshire, County Championship, Edgbaston, April 8, 2021

Dom Sibley is on the mend from a broken finger  •  PA Images via Getty Images

Warwickshire 343 (Yates 104, Burgess 101) and 70 for 3 drew with Worcestershire 364 for 8 declared (Haynes 87, Barnard 76*, Libby 75)
Warwickshire hope to have Dom Sibley and, perhaps, Chris Woakes available for their next Championship game.
Sibley, the England opener, broke his finger in the field at Trent Bridge in mid-April but was close to winning a recall for the County Championship match against Worcestershire which finished on Sunday. It was ultimately decided that fielding posed a risk and his return was delayed, but he is expected to play in the Championship match against Essex at Chelmsford starting on May 20. With Warwickshire not having a first team match next week, he could also play at least part of the Second XI Championship match starting on May 17.
Woakes is currently serving a quarantine period having returned from the IPL. He is scheduled to finish that next weekend, however, and will also come into consideration for the match at Chelmsford. While Warwickshire's head coach, Mark Robinson, describes that timeline as "tight" - Woakes will have had little chance to retain match fitness in quarantine - it might be the player's best chance to prove his readiness for the Test series against New Zealand which starts about two weeks later. The England squad are expected to enter a bio-bubble sometime around May 28.
There is just a little bit of doubt over Olly Stone's fitness, however. After leaving the field due to a minor stomach upset on Friday, he reported on Sunday morning with what appears to be an infection in his big toe and was limited to three overs on the final day of the game against Worcestershire. While the hope is it is cleared by antibiotics, it is possible he will require some treatment to cut out part of the nail. It is not, by any means, a serious injury but with competition for seam-bowling positions exceptionally tough, the timing is not ideal. England are expected to announce their Test squad around May 17.
With rain having washed-out the entire third day at Edgbaston, there was every chance the remainder of the game would become a somewhat prosaic pursuit of bonus points. Indeed, from shortly after lunch with the bonus points issues settled, it did become a pretty futile affair.
For Jack Haynes, though, it will be a day he long remembers. Haynes, a 20-year-old playing his first Championship match of the season, was progressing serenely going into the penultimate session of the match. Not just that, he had overseen a recovery which eventually helped his side to four batting bonus points which looked most unlikely at one stage. He richly deserved the maiden first-class century that seemed to be at his mercy.
But, with the hard work done, Haynes suffered a cruel moment of misfortune. Backing up, he saw his partner, Ed Barnard, drive fiercely back down the ground only for the bowler, Liam Norwell, to get a hand on the ball and deflect it onto the stumps at the non-striker's end. Ian Blackwell, the umpire, had no choice but to raise his finger. It was clear he took no pleasure in it.
While his agonised trudge off the pitch provided no hint of it, Haynes might, in time, see that he had more to celebrate than mourn. In recording his highest first-class score, he had proven himself a player of some potential and surely won an extended run in this side. Ian Bell, who has worked with him at England U-19 level, has mentioned him as one to watch.
Haynes' game is built upon a tight defence. He plays straight - unusually so - leaves well and seemed unperturbed either by the pace of Stone or the movement of Oliver Hannon-Dalby. His set-up is a minor variation on an old theme - he has a slightly open stance (his front foot points towards mid-off while his back remains square) and goes back and across as a trigger - which appears to provide him with decent balance. In attack, he demonstrated a pleasing back-foot punch, elegant cover and on drives and an efficient cut. He seems to have all the shots and the judgment to know when to use them.
His father, Gavin Haynes, was a good enough allrounder to hold down a place in the Worcestershire side for much of the '90s. Indeed, he played an important role in the NatWest victory of 1994, dismissing Brian Lara in the final and therefore denying Warwickshire a quadruple. There's no reason Jack should not be an even better player. It would be a surprise if he does not achieve that maiden first-class century soon. You'd think it would be the first of many.
Who knows how important that extra point or two grabbed by Worcestershire might prove? By the time Haynes was seventh man out, his team still required 61 runs from 49 balls for that fourth batting point. But so well did Barnard judge his innings and so selfless was the support from Alzarri Joseph, who thrashed his first ball for a straight six, they made it with two deliveries to spare. Warwickshire were denied a third bowling bonus point, too, which keeps them off the top of the table.
By the time Warwickshire return to Edgbaston, at the end of the month, the club will be able to welcome spectators once more. And that, for sure, is something to celebrate.
Some familiar faces will be absent, however. The last couple of years has been particularly harsh on the age demographic which includes so many county members and, in recent days, news filtered through that one particularly well-known supporter had lost her fight against illness.
Jane Hyatt was diagnosed with cancer in 2002. At the time, there was every expectation she would not see out the year. But although tiny in stature - nowhere near the five-feet she claimed - her appetite for life was huge. She lived long enough to see her grandson grow up, raise tens of thousands of pounds for charities and win an award as women's coach of the year. She was, in many ways, an inspiration.
Her struggle seemed to bring out the best of many around her, too. The players who visited her in hospital, the captain who phoned her on Christmas Day, the England stars who gladly gave their kit for charity auctions: she loved the Warwickshire team and the Warwickshire team loved her right back. As another magnificent English woman put it long ago (and, for that reason, you'll hopefully forgive the somewhat sexist language), she may have had "the body of a weak and feeble woman, but she had the heart and stomach of a king and a king of England, too".
Like Rose, whose laugh used to echo around this ground, like June, who used to sit holding hands with her husband (named Terry, of course) all day and like Ray, who had a twinkle in his eye come rain or shine, she would have enjoyed the look of this young Warwickshire side. Such supporters will always be as much a part of the club as the players. Edgbaston will be a much diminished place for their absence.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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