Ian Westwood: Ex-Warwickshire skipper earns Bears benefit

Warwickshire opener Ian Westwood
Westwood has been with Warwickshire since he was 11 years old

Former Warwickshire skipper Ian Westwood has been awarded a benefit year with the Bears in 2015.

The 32-year-old Birmingham-born opener has just completed 12 seasons with the county, having made his debut in 2003, before signing his first professional contract ahead of the 2004 season.

He came through the youth ranks at Edgbaston, starting as an 11-year-old.

"Ian knows as well as anybody how much it means to be a Bear," said director of cricket Dougie Brown.

Trott called up for England Lions tour
The Bears' current beneficiary for 2014 is Jonathan Trott, who has been called up by England Lions for the tour to his native South Africa next year.Bears fast bowler Boyd Rankin is also picked in two 14-man provisional squads for two four-day and five 50-over games against South Africa 'A'.

"He's an integral part of the squad and is one of the most respected cricketers in the county game."

Westwood has made 6,526 runs in 130 first-class matches for Warwickshire, including 13 centuries, at an average of 33.12, with a highest score of 178.

He captained the Bears for two seasons in 2009 and 2010, prior to Jim Troughton, who retired this summer due to a back injury.

Westwood on the winning team
Westwood featured in Warwickshire's Championship-winning teams of 2004 and 2012 and he captained the Bears to their CB40 triumph in 2010.

"I'm very proud to have been part of Warwickshire for more than 20 years," Westwood said.

"It's a great honour for the members to nominate me for a benefit year.

"I've been fortunate enough to play here at Edgbaston with many great cricketers and to consistently compete for trophies.

"We've currently got an excellent squad and coaching team and I believe that there are many more opportunities for us to push for more silverware in the years ahead."

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