Its all happening!
Lancashire Cricket is set for an exciting few weeks.....
...and months...and years!
10 years ago next April I was delighted to take up the post as LCB Secretary, soon to become LCB Director. The cricket landscape, particularly within the development of the game, has changed dramatically.
However, I felt that some of us, me included, were losing sight of one of the main reasons as to why we exist. To create players to play for Lancashire (and England) and have successful County teams along the way. A huge amount of hard work, passion and quite frankly, blood, sweat and tears, has gone into the Lancashire Schools set up (and by jove doesn't John Heaton like telling us about it!!!) , the LCB, the LCCC Academy, the Lancashire Cricket Federation and the County professional squad.
We have Committees that look after this, we have clubs that nurture players, we have a great set of coaches, managers who give their time freely because they love junior cricket and we have the players. We are lucky to have so many talented players from all sorts of clubs throughout Lancashire. Many will enjoy a run in our Youth teams but most will go back to their clubs, hopefully raising the standard. Some kick on.
I think all those involved with this set up, from Academy Director up to Cricket Director down to U11 girls' coach can now start to get excited. The first team are going for the title. As I write, they are well on top against Worcestershire and could go to the summit of the Championship with 3 games to go. The Holy Grail!!! The second team are in the finals of their one day trophy. Lancashire U14s have just won their Festival and lifted the National title at Oakham School for the first time in at least a decade and the U13 girls have just had an unbeaten Malvern Festival and must be confident of lifting the national title at Denby next week. Many of our U17 squad have represented Lancashire 2nd team.
It is not a time for apportioning credit to individuals other than the players. However, we have to think our system is starting to function as it should. Lancashire should be winning Championships and National Titles. Players should be going on to play for England.
It has always been an honour to be involved and able to shape the future but forgive me for getting carried away on this particular Friday morning. The new stadium is about to be built, the first team squad is full of home grown players, our young teams (boys and girls) are performing well and we have a great set of people getting them there.
What a great time to be part of Lancashire Cricket.