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ASHLEY Giles expects "a real buzz" to be around English cricket in the approach to next season in the light of the terrific Ashes triumph in Australia.

And Warwickshire director of cricket Giles reckons the atmosphere at Edgbaston will be as upbeat as anywhere after the huge input of Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott to England's success.

The Bears' batsmen played a major part in the emasculation of the Aussie bowlers which set up the historic 3-1 series win.

And Warwickshire now have a third England hero Down Under after Chris Woakes showed ice-cool nerves to hit the winning runs off the last ball of his England debut in the Twenty20 on Wednesday.

Twenty-one-year-old Woakes is pretty much an unknown quantity to Australia but paceman Shaun Tait found out the hard way what an exciting prospect - and cool customer - the Bears all-rounder is.

DIRECTOR of cricket Ashley Giles will return to his roots when Warwickshire visit the Guildford Festival next season.

The Bears will face Surrey in a Clydesdale 40 clash in July at a Woodbridge Road ground where Giles made his first-team debut for Guildford CC, aged just 14, in the Surrey Championship back in 1987.

Giles went on to become an integral member of Tim Walter's Guildford side with both bat and ball before moving to the Midlands to join Warwickshire as Surrey already had three left-arm spinners on their staff.

When the Bears last visited Guildford, on the way to winning the county championship in 2004, Giles was away on England duty playing against West Indies. This time, he will definitely return to his old patch.

"There will be lots of fantastic memories for me," he said. "I am really looking forward to seeing everyone at Guildford."

The Guildford Festival is a popular feature in the calendar of Surrey followers who are hoping the event bounces back after a switch from it's customary July date last season caused a negative financial impact.

Staging a four-day and one-day double-header against Sussex in August was popular with crowds but caused a sharp fall-off in corporate revenue, so much so that the festival lost money.

Restored to its familiar July slot, the event should take off again and the early reaction from local businesses has been promising.

Let's hope that, like all outgrounds, Guildford continues to thrive, outgrounds being such a precious, historic and important part of the fabric of county cricket and a highly-laudable gesture of appreciation from counties to those among their followers who do not happen to live adjacent to a main county ground.

IAN Westwood is 100 per cent comfortable with his decision to resign as Warwickshire captain - but does not rule out taking on the job again later in his career.

Westwood is back in the Bears ranks under new skipper Jim Troughton after quitting the leadership, citing a desire to return his focus fully to his role as opening batsman.

The decision was his alone. Indeed, director of cricket Ashley Giles tried hard to persuade the 28-year-old to reverse it. Although Warwickshire endured a horrible time with the bat last season and suffered a string of heavy Championship defeats, Westwood's captaincy skills were rarely questioned. He was simply leading too many misfiring, confidence-drained players.

His mind was made up though. A stubborn batsman, Westwood is a stubborn character too. And, especially with the Bears' top order having been strengthened during the winter, he is eager to concentrate on his own game for a while.

"I certainly wouldn't rule out taking the captaincy again at some stage," Westwood said. "I feel I did a decent job. I just feel it's the right time to step back and get my game in order and have a couple of years just for me. But if I can push myself hard and get a couple of good seasons behind me in all forms of the game I certainly wouldn't say I'd never be skipper it again if the club wanted that.

"But I am under no illusions that I need to put a run of consistent scores together. I have never quite managed to do that all through a season. I've shown potential with an innings here and there but never put a real run together. Whenever I have started to do that I have been injured and had to start again.

"I certainly don't look back on my two years as captain with any regrets. We have won two trophies, stayed in the Championship First Division and, as a squad, continued to move in the right direction.

"I will miss a lot about it. It's great being involved in the decision-making and knowing all the information and making the choices. You really feel like it is in your own hands, which it is. I like that.

WARWICKSHIRE have appointed Jim Troughton as their captain in all formats of cricket for the 2011 season.

Troughton, who took over the Twenty20 leadership of the Bears from Ian Westwood early in last season's tournament, has now succeeded his team-mate as full club captain, Warwickshire's fifth in eight years.

Westwood resigned from the job last week citing a need to focus on his batting which had suffered among the multitude of demands of skippering the side. Westwood averaged just 25.93 with the bat in the championship last season.

The twin demands of captaincy and run-gathering in the top order now pass to 31-year-old Troughton and Warwickshire must hope the extra responsibility helps reboot the left-hander's batting. Troughton's championship average last season was a mere 20.17 (16.75 in the first innings) and he endured a torrid time for much of the campaign, scoring just one half-century and no centuries in 30 knocks.

Troughton, who has taken over with immediate effect, was born in London but grew up in Stratford-upon-Avon and learned his cricket at Swan's Nest Lane and in the Edgbaston youth system. With a near-lifelong connection to the Bears, he is immensely proud to have become the club's 29th captain and, significantly, the first whose surname begins with the letter T.

DOUGIE Brown has paid the warmest of tributes to Ian Westwood who stepped down as Warwickshire captain this week.

The Bears are now evaluating who should lead them into the 2011 season after Westwood confirmed his expected resignation after two years in the job. The 28-year-old has quit the role in order to step back down into the ranks and concentrate on his batting. In the championship last season he scored 726 runs at an average of 25.92, a modest return though one which still left him top scorer for the Bears and with a higher average than any other specialist batsman for the county apart from England pair Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott.

While Westwood's batting suffered along with the team as a whole for much of last season, however, his captaincy skills remained high even at times of considerable personal and team pressure. And Brown, along with fellow coaches Ashley Giles and Graeme Welch, continue to rate him very highly as a leader.

"Ian has been an inspirational captain on the field," said Second XI coach Brown. "He is a great tactician on the field and a fantastic man away from the field itself, a real leader in and around the dressing room. He is a great motivator and reads the game particularly well.

"The one thing that has been a downfall is his weight of runs. He did really well towards the end of the season and that was outstanding, but I think maybe just the pressure of the captaincy towards the end of the season was getting to him.

"But credit to him, he is a really resilient lad, and when we needed to pull one out of the bag he masterminded it from somewhere, winning the last three championship matches to save us from going down. I can't speak highly enough of the guy."

Westwood is now free to focus fully on his batting throughout the winter as he prepares to face competition for the opening slots next season from Varun Chopra, who impressed towards the end of his first season with Warwickshire this year, and Will Porterfield, newly-signed from Gloucestershire.

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