Well, well, Northants Steelbacks Friends Life t20 champions, sounds great. Well done and well deserved to everyone connected with the club; players, staff and supporters a like, what a great Finals Day and atmosphere at Edgbaston. A great team performance, and to round things off, a hat-trick from David Willey, a true fairy tale that could not be written any better.
Credit as well to the club, with two shrewd overseas signings in Cameron White, who is always a pleasure to watch when he is at the crease. And Richard Levi, the big hitting South African, who throughout the tournament played some big innings.
A lot has been said from the players about the great team spirit which is running throughout the club and the closeness of the squad. This was evident on Saturday night, when it was great to see Stephen Peters, Andrew Hall and the rest of the squad, really celebrate hard on the night along with the coaching staff.
What a great night for all of us supporters and I expect you like me celebrated with a few beers! As we arrive at the end of August, what a great position to be in, t20 champions, second in the YB40, still with a chance to qualify for the last four and second in the LV= County Championship. Who would have thought way back at the start of the season in April, we would have a chance now of winning three competitions.
Great stuff and all credit to David Ripley, the players, David Smith and the board. Talking of the board it is nice to see my favourite player Allan Lamb on the Northants board, giving his advice and experienced input into the cricketing side of things.
All of the players are playing their part at the moment, but one player who has come to the forefront in the last couple of months is Muhammad Azhar Ullah. For a player in his first season in professional first class cricket in England, with his in-swinging yorkers and pace, he has certainly caught a lot of county batsmen by surprise to say the least. He has backed this up by being the top wicket taker in this season’s Friends Life t20 competition, top work by a top man.
With the departure of two overseas players, we welcome back Trent Copeland, who in his first stint earlier on in the season was an absolute sensation at the club. This player can do it all, bat, bowl and field. We only have him for three championship matches, which is a shame but we will have to make the most of him while we have him.
As they say in sport, we enter the last month of the season and it is now the "business" end of things. We must all pull together to hopefully get us promotion back into Division One of the LV= County Championship. So far, this season has been a dream, let’s hope this dream becomes a reality for Northamptonshire County Cricket Club!