Nick Knight: the news 'caught us on the hop' © Getty Images
The only dampener on Warwickshire's delight at winning their first Championship since 1995 was the fact that the title was decided by events elsewhere rather than while they were on the field.

Most of their squad followed playat Hove - where Sussex's defeat by Middlesex settled the issue - on television or via the internet, and Nick Knight, their captain, admitted that the news had come as something of a surprise. "That has caught us on the hop," Knight told The Guardian. "We didn't expect it to happen today."

Knight spent the day in meetings to discuss next season, but was given regular updates by team-mate Dougie Brown. "I didn't expect Middlesex to get those runs but once Dougie told us there was a chance, John and myself kept nipping out of the meeting to get an update. There was champagne flying around in the committee room but we had quite a lot to get through on the agenda so we will have to wait for the big celebration.

"The key has been that our batsmen have enjoyed the good wickets and scored their runs quickly and heavily," he added. "That's given our bowlers enough time to bowl sides out."

Warwickshire's success came in Knight's first season at the helm, and he has led from the front with 1301 runs at 59.13. "Captaincy has come at a good time for me because I have finished at international level and I now have experience to offer to a young and emerging side," he continued. "It's been a pleasure leading them because they are so receptive to ideas but there is more to come from this side. Before the start of the season I said it would be two years before we saw the best of this squad and I still think that is the case."

Dennis Amiss, Warwickshire's chief executive, said that the county's batsman had been the main reason behind the success. "We did not expect anything like this at the beginning of the season. It has really been down to the batters. They've given the bowlers the time. Our strength has definitely been the batting in the first innings. We have scored more than 400 many times."

Meanwhile, at Hove Chris Adams, Sussex's captain, was left disappointed after a century from Owais Shah had guided Middlesex to a five-wicket win and ended Sussex's lingering hopes of retaining their title. "They [Warwickshire] haven't won many, but they haven't lost any either," he said. "It's been a very competitive division. When you play only eight other teams twice, the best team always wins. They have won it comfortably too, so you've got to hand it to them. If anyone else was going to win it, I'm pleased it was Warwickshire."