Warwickshire 380 (Sibley 119, Rhodes 110) beat Kent 167 (Wright 3-29, Barker 3-31) and 179 (Crawley 75, Stone 3-35) by one entry and 34 races
It was kind of a fun celebration, really. There was champagne, of course, but there were also tears. There were many tears.
I would have thought that Warwickshire, the team that had just secured its promotion as Champion of Division Two, would have been tireless in its celebrations. They had just defeated the second best team in the division by one inning, after all. It was his fifth victory of the campaign and his fourth in the last six games.
But, as Jonathan Trott pulled his Warwickshire colleagues off the field for the last time, the tears of his captain, Jeetan Patel, and coach, Jim Troughton, were not entirely happy. Instead, it was something that was approaching mourning: a race, even an era, was about to end. After 17 years in the club and 16 as an automatic selection, Trott had retired.
"He's a great man," Patel said through tears. "We are losing a good player, we are losing a good man."
"Today belongs to him. His career has been immense. He has given a lot to the game. If you want someone to score runs when it's difficult, or give a message to the team when it's difficult … we're losing a good man. "
He's not the only one who leaves, Chris Wright and Keith Barker, in many senses, the architects of the 2012 Championship success, have gone to Leicestershire and Hampshire, respectively, offering them better deals there.
Both will be missed Wright has played every championship game this season, taking 41 wickets and scoring 342 runs. , while Barker, with his left arm swing and his big feet creating roughness for the spinners, showed his enduring class on his last day with the club by claiming two wickets in a final, including a perfect inswinger who got between the He beat and padded Jo Denly and took off his stumps, before leaving the field with a hamstring injury He had won the warm reception he received. you have them.
There will not be a new beginning for Trott. Not as a player, anyway As a child and growing up in Cape Town, he had always dreamed of playing for Warwickshire, the club of his heroes such as Allan Donald, Shaun Pollock and Bob Woolmer, and had no interest in getting married in another couple of years. He married a local girl whose family, the Dollerys, is soaked in the club's history and they live just two miles from Edgbaston.
In a contractual meeting with the club once advocated a salary cut in the hope that the money used to retain the services of a former player, was; that player is now a senior coach and was never linked to a movement. Some mocked him for saying, a few years ago, that he preferred to live in Birmingham than in Cape Town, but he meant it. He has made it his home and understands that some things, friends, family, community, are more important than sunlight and landscape.
And, while other players of his age could be attracted to T20, or even by T10 leagues, that was never really his game. Your future is, wait, in training. There is nothing aligned at this time but, as the generation of batters struggles to fight the ball in motion, Trott's knowledge and skills seem more valuable than ever.
While Trott also shed some tears, his main emotion seemed to be relief. Gone are the carefree days, like 2003, when he made a century in the first class debut for Warwickshire or 2009 when he did the same in the debut of the test for England, when the batting seemed easy. He seemed exhausted at the end of this game and, despite having averaged more than 50 in List A cricket this season and almost 50 in first class cricket, when he said he was waiting for his retirement day, you believed him.  "I have no doubts," he said. "Making the decision to retire [a few months ago] gave me a new life and helped me get through the season, encouraged me to enjoy the season for what it is and not fight or fight with cricket as I have done in the past. and I let it happen, I've been waiting for this day, it's the right time for me and, more importantly, it's the right time for the club.
"I've been very lucky. Warwickshire has given me so much. Not just a job, but a home. I have lived my dream playing for them and I owe them a lot. I'm standing here now, having helped the boys win the promotion and having been congratulated by one of my heroes, Allan Donald, in my career. That is really special for me. It feels like a fantastic way to get out. "
Somehow, Trott has not changed much The way he left the field on Tuesday, furious with himself having been caught in midfield, was similar to the way in which the launch went after his test game by seconds in 2002. On that occasion he had scored 245 but, such was his hunger for racing, one would have thought he had been fired by a duck.
In other ways , he's a lot The burst of curly hair has long since gone and, instead, are the crow's feet and chipped teeth that speak of hours under the sun and the inherent anxiety of making a living with a cricket bat He could never make sense of a game in which he could be in such good shape, could score a big ball and leave early, or be poor enough to miss miles and move on and make a century. of that confusion, to develop he smelled a knowledge-a wisdom, even-that he understood that there are more important things in life than cricket and that the measure of a person is often how to deal with setbacks. Somewhere along the way, he learned phlegm and the ability to let go.
"Notably, some of the youngest hitters on the side were among the most upset about the prospect of their game, nothing could be better reflected in an experienced player."
For Warwickshire, he played a role in two county championships (2004 and 2012) and two limited titles (2010 and 2016) and lists the first of those championships and the second of those limited trophies (he won the Man of the Match Award in the end of the Lord) among the highlights of his career. He is located next to MJK Smith, Dennis Amiss, Nick Knight, Ian Bell and his grandfather in law (if there is such a thing), H.E. & # 39; Tom & # 39; Dollery, a man who begins to resemble a little, is among the best Warwickshire hitters qualified in England since the Second World War. Only Knight has more List A's for the club; not even Bell has as many as his 31 centuries of first class for them.
It was encouraging to witness the welcome he received from his followers here. And listen to him approach them with such calm and eloquence. There may have been a time, a long time ago, when he did not value his support and did not appreciate his commitment. Not now. Eventually they got to know him and understood that he needed that bluff facade that he still hides from time to time to hide the vulnerability. They saw how much he cared about the success of the team and how much he hated the spotlight. In the end, he got to know them and they got to know him. Nobody knows who will miss who else.
It tells you a lot about Trott that, when asked to select a favorite moment in the game, it's his disappearance from Simon Katich in Adelaide in 2010 that comes to mind. Not the 13 international centuries; not the Man of the Series prize won against Pakistan's wonderful bowling attack in 2010; he did not win the Sir Garfield Sobers trophy for the ICC cricketer of the year in 2011 – he is still the only qualified player in England to win it (although Andrew Flintoff shared it with Jaques Kallis in 2005).
No, his outstanding career was that exhaustion. It came in the first part of the game after Australia had chosen to make the first use of a typically flat surface. Shane Watson had called for a race, Trott had thrown the stumps with a direct hit from somewhere around the square leg. Five minutes later, Australia was three down and England on the way to an innings victory.
"I just wanted to contribute," he explains. "I worked very hard in my field and that moment was a reward, we knew we needed an early shutter and I was very happy to help us take it."
It is his batting for England in those years for which Trott will be remembered, however. Yes, it ended badly. There is no way to escape from that. But, for a while, Trott was a cornerstone on the best side of the test that England has had in many, many years. Whatever the situation, whatever the attack to the bowling alley, he would emerge at n. ° 3 and, without drama or decoration, would strike his side in an impregnable position. When England won the ashes in Australia (winning three races for one chance), when they whitewashed India to go to number 1 in the world, when they won in India, Trott was number 3. Andrew Strauss called it the "most soothing". "The player and a generation of fans from England came to trust him."
And his ODI batting? Well, the game has changed, no doubt, but averaging 50 in ODI cricket, to reach the milestone of 1000 races in the same number of games that Viv Richards (Trott reached the milestone of 2,000 races in one fewer innings), to help his team reach the first place in the world ranking and reach within an ace of his first ODI world title, the Trofeo de Campeones 2013, still deserves praise.In truth, it was very rare #TrottsFault.
Maybe, with time, he will reflect that it was not one of those high points that I should be more proud of. He was given an opportunity to return after he left the Ashes tour of 2013-14. The return of his county was soon abandoned and he seemed, for a time, greatly diminished.
Having returned from those depths was remarkable. He challenged his faults, challenged his fears and returned to the forum where he had a collapse was, in his way, the most admirable achievement of all in his career. It did not work, of course, but surely sports teach us that not all defeats are not glorious. The Barmy Army supporters who encouraged him off the field at the end of a Barbados Test in which he had scored nine in two innings understood that and expressed their gratitude for the good times. The Warwickshire supporters did the same on Wednesday. Notably, a pair of younger hitters on the side were among the most upset about the prospect of their departure. Nothing could be better reflected in a senior player.
The shadows that lengthen, the changing color of the leaves, the cold in the air: there is always a feeling of melancholy that accompanies this time of year. Every county cricket lover understands seasonal affective disorder. His only surprise is that it is not called cricket seasonal affective disorder.
This felt like an ending. But it's not really just part of the cycle. With players like Olly Stone, whose trip to England is just beginning, Dominic Sibley, Sam Hain and, above all, Henry Brookes, the departure of Trott and co., Allows new faces to emerge. The game, at least a little more, remains the same; Only the characters involved change. Trott has left the club he loves in good condition. Without anyone thinking that he stayed too long and wanting it to stay for longer. With a record to be proud of. He leaves with the cheers of his teammates and rivals, his family and followers, ringing in his ears. Well hit, Trotty. It does not get much better.