Dear Members and supporters
Over the past few weeks I have been very grateful for the many letters of support that the club have received, finishing second bottom of Division Two in the County Championship last season was a bitter pill to swallow for everyone connected with the club and our white ball cricket results were also very tough viewing.
The level of performance was not where we need it to be and the players and management now have time to reflect on those performances over the winter. We've modified our squad with the additions of both Matthew Spriegel and Steven Crook, both of whom are multi-dimensional cricketers that will add to our competitiveness in all forms of the game.
We will attempt to assemble our squad with a core group of home-grown players, with a sense of who and what they represent, alongside good senior role model cricketers, with a quality overseas player or two. I believe it is still the best way to bring success to any cricket club. With this in mind Ben Duckett, Christian Davis, Rob Keogh & James Kettleborough, all who have been involved in the Northants cricket pathway, have all recently signed professional contracts with the club. The key is obviously to have the right balance between the young and experienced cricketers and of course, to have ‘‘members and supporters that are patient’’ as our young players progress in the game. I am comfortable that we are now starting to achieve that balance.
Stephen Peters has been made Club Captain for the 2013 cricket season and Alex Wakely will be the Club Vice-Captain and will captain the club in one day cricket. Stephen brings a wealth of cricket experience to the role and has just signed a new two year contract with the club. He will also be enjoying a well-earned Benefit in 2013 and we believe he has a lot to offer the club and team in his new role.
Alex, who has progressed through the clubs development system and is an ex-England Under 19’s Captain, has been identified as a future Captain of the club and his captaincy in all one day cricket next summer forms part of the club’s succession planning for the future. He captained a very difficult t20 campaign last summer with enormous credit.
We believe the splitting of the roles between red and white ball cricket was something that had been identified as the best way forward in these modern day demanding roles.
Over the next two years, the club is planning to invest in completely re-furbishing the members and players dining area, and the Ken Turner Suite, as well as erecting two Sky broadcasting boxes on top of the Lynn Wilson Centre. This will lead to more modern member’s facilities at the ground. During this winter the club will be completing the self-contained grass outdoor nets on the old Bowling Green site.
In order to continue to develop Northamptonshire County Cricket Club into one of the leading non-Test Match counties in the country, it is essential that the club aligns itself with other counties by having the facility of grass outdoor nets away from the main playing area. This in turn will allow the club to attract high quality touring teams to the County Ground and also brings many visitors to Northampton, raising the profile of the town.
The club will continue its programme of involvement with local schools, attempting to bring cricket to the local community. Schools and community groups will also have the opportunity to hold sports days during the summer months on the main cricket ground.
We will also be upgrading our IT facilities which will include our ability to communicate more frequently with all Northants Cricket followers. This forms one part of the ECB and Northants Cricket’s Customer Engagement Programme, where the club is putting together plans to increase the use of data and digital marketing, which will improve our services to you as members, whilst helping take Northants Cricket forward into a more successful future. This means we plan to use email communication in the main from the start of the 2013 season.
One benefit to come from this decision has been the club abolishing booking fees for online ticket purchases, meaning purchasing online is not only the cheapest, but the most convenient way to book match tickets and buy membership.
Membership Type for the 2013 Cricket Season.
(All Membership excludes t20 Quarter Finals and YB 40 Semi Finals Games.)
- PREMIUM MEMBERSHIP - Entry to all regular season home cricket including Australia tour match.
- Premium Adult Single Membership £99-00
- Premium Joint Membership two adults same household £189-00
- Junior Membership Under 17 on February 1st 2013. Free
- Standard Membership Entry to YB 40 & LV County Cricket
- Standard Adult Single Membership £69-00
- (Standard Joint 2 Adults same household £129-00
We also know that junior members are the future of this club and are pleased to offer junior memberships for FREE in 2013. All we need is contact details (and an email address!) and young cricket fans can support the Steelbacks for free all season. Full details are available on northantscricket.com.
The ECB have finalised the domestic structure for 2014 onwards which will provide us with:
- Sixteen Four Day games primarily starting on Sundays.
- Fourteen t20 games being played primarily on Friday nights.
- Eight 50 over games played in two blocks during July & August.
We all now know the schedule for the foreseeable future and we now have more regular start days for our games. It has been proved beyond any doubt that t20 games played on Friday nights in Northampton under floodlights attract larger crowds and we are confident with the new opportunity of regular scheduling that we can create larger footfall and grow our fan base.
Finally, all members and friends are invited to the Club on Saturday 12th January for a fundraising coffee morning, 10am to 1pm. As well as a chance to meet up and look forward to the new season, there will be a cake stall and cricket memorabilia for sale.
As I mentioned earlier in this letter, everyone at the club was disappointed with our cricket performances last summer but please stick with us, we are developing a squad that we believe will allow us to be competitive in all forms of the game.
Chief Executive Northants Cricket