Copyright © Northants Cricket 2013. Northants Cricket is not responsible for content on external sites.
NCCC Supporters Club
NCCC Supporters Club - WEST STAND STORY
The Official Newsletter of Northamptonshire County Cricket Supporters Club (Founded 1988)
In the Royal London One Day Cup the team wasn't quite able to recover from a bad start, with rain at Leeds robbing them of the opportunity of taking on the Tykes for a quarter-final place. As I am writing these words before the end of the Championship season I cannot yet completely sum up the performances in the first-class competition.
Suffice it to say that 2015 has seen both highs and lows, but it has certainly been better than the 2014 season was. The match against the Australians was surprisingly interesting with Steven Crook flogging the bowling on the Saturday and the Northamptonshire bowling humbling the tourists' batting line up on the Sunday. All in all there has been much of interest during this season.
I hope that the autumn and winter will not drag and that it will not be too long before the 2016 season rolls round. If you are not able to attend any of our close season events – we hope to see you all again next spring.
The opinions expressed by the authors of articles in this newsletter do not necessarily reflect those of the editor or Northamptonshire County Cricket Supporters Club
Sad but inevitable; he’s improved steadily and shows real potential as an international cricketer. Scoring two first class centuries this season has shown the final evidence of improvement as an all rounder, but second division cricket won’t advance his ability to win a cap in test cricket. The very best of good fortune to him and maybe he will be a regular international when he returns to the County Ground.
It was sad to learn of Stephen’s retirement but not surprising, considering the injuries of recent seasons. At his best, he was a joy to watch at the crease and in the field. and he has served three counties very well. I hope he won’t be completely lost to the game.
Editor's Note: Details of who would be leaving (and joining) Northamptonshire had not been released at the time of writing. We hope to reflect more on these in a future edition.
A BIG 'THANK YOU'
Over consecutive weekends in July the Supporters Club ran a tombola and then a raffle. Due to your generosity we raised over £1000 during the course of three days cricket. Thank you for supporting both these events.
THE TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGIN'
However hard, you have to move with the times. Surely we cricket lovers must be the most put upon sporting fraternity.
Rugby has its frequent tinkering with the basic laws of the game, Football has the occasional law change, the back pass rule being the most recent in my memory, although offside has been adjusted I believe. Otherwise football fans have witnessed pre-kick off handshakes, giving the ball back to the oppo when they've kicked it out for an injury and the ever more imaginative and crazy goal celebrations. Perhaps it's time for a ritual to commemorate blatant misses?
Tennis has carried on more or less as it was in my youth*, and other sports I follow seem to change little by little.
So what have we cricket aficionados been landed with?
Well, since the JPL came along in 1969, and the no ball law switched from back to front foot, there has been an avalanche.Starting with the competitions and their names and sponsors, a steady start has grown at speed so that I never catch up with the rules, regulations and shirts.
Regulations include how many for a new ball, what leads to a free hit and its consequences, and the mechanics of the power play.I rely on our editor, Bill Horsley, for these fine details.
Then there are the days and times when matches are played. The fixture secretaries and Sky seem addicted to chaos theory. I have arrived at 4 day matches on the second day thinking it was the first, and lost track of the 1 day competitions with the scatter gun approach to the schedule.
Incidentally, there are the mini carnivals which precede 1 day games, the 'music' and high volume announcements and the incredible waste of power apparently down to the regulations demanding all day floodlights for an early evening match which could often be completed without them.
There are other irksome points I could make, but I'm too busy working out how much more cricket I might see this season.
If all those adjustments are for the benefit of Team England, perhaps the ECB will honour county supporters' suffering with free test tickets?
*With the possible exception of tie breaks – Ed.
Mohammed Azharullah has signed a new contract with Northants Cricket which will keep him at the County Ground until the end of the 2017 season. Azhar, who joined the county in 2013 was recently awarded his county cap during the Royal London One Day Cup match against Durham Jets.
Ben Duckett and Rob Keogh have also signed new two-year deals. Duckett made his Northamptonshire debut in 2012, whilst Keogh's initial first team appearance was back in 2010.
Alex Wakely's century against Gloucestershire at Cheltenham was his first in a first-class match since 2010 – a total of 63 matches.
The Summer 2015 edition of The Cricketer magazine includes interviews with David Willey and Curtly Ambrose.
Ben Sanderson made his debut for Northamptonshire against Derbyshire in the County Championship match at the County Ground in July. The 26 year-old was previously with Yorkshire and also has representative honours with England Under 19s. The Sheffield born player has also appeared for Shropshire in Minor County cricket.
Richard Gleeson made his first-class debut in the match against Australia. The 27 year-old was born in Blackpool had taken 14 wickets in two Second Eleven appearances. He has also played Minor County cricket for Cumberland.
George Munsey also made his first-class bow in the tourist match. Despite being born at Oxford the 22 year-old batsman has appeared for Scotland in a number of Limited Overs and T20 internationals during the last two years.
Former Northamptonshire target John Hastings has signed a contract to return as Durham's overseas player in 2016. Meanwhile fellow Australian Chris Rogers (who did play for Northamptonshire in 2006) has been linked with a possible move to Somerset for next season if he doesn't agree a new deal with Middlesex.
Northamptonshire will not host either of the touring sides in 2016 with neither Pakistan or Sri Lanka visiting the County Ground.
The Championship match against Durham at the County Ground saw 18 year-old former Bedford School pupil Charlie Thurston hit an unbeaten 203 off 256 balls including four sixes and 23 fours. Northants declared at 378-7. However in reply the visitors amassed 590. It was left to David Murphy (110) to help Northants bat out a draw at 322-7.
Against Derbyshire at Swarkestone Northamptonshire suffered a two-day Championship defeat. In a low scoring match the visitors were left a victory target of 133 but were bowled out for just 94.
Northamptonshire also lost a Trophy match to Derbyshire at Belper by 96 runs. The home side made 331-4 to which the county replied with 235 with David Murphy (44) top scoring.
Murphy was again in form with the bat at Desborough scoring 147 out of 253 against MCC Universities in the next Championship encounter. MCCU were bowled out for 156 with Richard Gleeson taking 5-44. In their second innings Northants made 243 with Akhil Patel (44) top scoring. On the final day the students were dismissed for 137 – Usman Muzaffar taking 6-31. Northants won by 202 runs.
Against Leicestershire at the County Ground Richard Gleeson claimed 6-51 and Joe Dawborn 3-63 as the visitors were bowled out for 248. Akhil Patel (89) top-scored as Northants (384) claimed a lead of 136. Charlie Macdonell (52) also passed fifty. Leicestershire then batted through the final day to claim a draw reaching 422-8.
In mid-June Northamptonshire's women travelled to Great Rissington to face Gloucestershire in a T20 match. Trish Hankins claimed the excellent figures of 5-5 as the home side reached 103-8. Despite 38 from Joanne Gardner Northants were contained to 94-6 to lose by 9 runs.
Later the same day the side took on Hampshire at the same venue. Northants were bowled out for just 64 with Hankins (17) top scoring. Hampshire were made to fight, winning by three wickets in the 19th over. Summer Keightley claiming three wickets.
Redditch was the venue for Northants' next T20 matches in early July. Their first opponents were Devon who made 68-2 in a reduced 10 overs. Northants could make only 44-5 in reply (Hankins 19).
In the second match Worcestershire totalled a huge 191-6 in their 20 overs. Hankins made 34 but Northants were all out for 85 in reply.
The County Ground was the venue for a friendly match against Army Women on 31 July. Hankins hit 54 before retiring as Northants reached 147-5 in 20 overs, Hayley Brown also made 44. The Army were contained to 88-8 with Keightley taking 3-9.
Returning to T20 Cup action the Steeletos travelled to Chesterton in Oxfordshire in early August to face the host county and Cornwall. Batting first against the Cornish Hankins again top scored with 25 as the side totalled 105-7. Cornwall were contained to 89-8 with Salma Bi taking 3-15. Northants winning by 16 runs.
Against Oxfordshire Northants made 124-7 Amelia Boddington top-scored with 42. The home side were contained to 104-5, Meera Patel taking 2-11.
In mid-August the Steeletos played host to Scotland and Buckingham at Horton. The Scots dismissed Northants for just 36 and claimed a nine-wicket in the 11th over.
The Buckinghamshire match saw a better result with Northants totalling 120-4 in their 20 overs. Hayley Brown hit an unbeaten 43. Bucks could manage only 105-9 in their reply Natalie Parsons taking 3-3.
The final T20 Division Three table saw the Steeletos in 5th place (out of 8) with three wins and five defeats. Top run-scorer was Trish Hankins with a total of 133. Hankins was also top wicket-taker with 9.
Oxfordshire bowled Northants out for just 58 in their 50-over match at Chesterton and won by nine wickets on Duckworth/Lewis by reaching 29 for 1 in the 11th over.
The August Bank Holiday Monday 50-over match against Hertfordshire at Sywell was abandoned without a ball bowled.
REFLECTIONS ON FINALS DAY
As I sat in the Wyatt Stand during T20 Finals Day I could not help but refelect on how cricket has changed over the years. How would WG have coped with a Nat West Scatterblast? What would the Don's reaction have been at The Oval in 1948 if his second ball departure at the hands of Eric Hollies been accompanied by duck calls?
However it was Sir Don Bradman himself who likened Test and limited overs cricket to classical and pop music. “There's room for both” he said. T20 cricket still has its detractors but there is no doubt that Finals Day, whatever the result for your team, serves up terrific entertainment (even at £4.20 a pint!) and is great for the domstic game.
Once again (as in 2009 and 2013) Northants were first up to face the Bears in their lair. Thankfully the home fans were given little chance to indulge in those annoying chants of “Come On You Bears” and a (relatively) straightforward victory was achieved.
Winning the first semi allows you to relax for a few hours and watch the second match with slightly detached interest. As in 2013 Hampshire were the losers in the 'other' match. The south coast county have reached six consecutive Finals Days with Northants being the last county to prevent them from doing so by winning the 2009 quarter-final.
And thus Lancashire were the opponents for the fourth time in a major final (following the 1976 Gillette Cup, 1990 Nat West Trophy and 1996 Benson and Hedges Cup). For the first time I learned that I was part of the 'Shoe Army' (though not the only sole to sign up!) as the younger and lively members of the Northants contingent indulged in good natured banter with their nearby Lancastrian counterparts (this did involve a fair amount of “Oh Lanky, Lanky. Lanky, Lanky,Lanky, Lanky, Lancashire!” and similar.)
Unfortunately the Red Rose county set a target which was probably 10 too many and so defeated us for the third time in those four finals. Is it too much to hope that our overdue 'revenge' will not be too long in the coming?
So we've lost in the first semi, won the final and lost the final. Does this mean we have to lose the second semi next time round to claim a 'full set'? Best not to dwell on that thought....
So we made our way home, passing a small knot of 'Where's Wallys' at the bus stop, a couple of stray Minions wending their way home and Captain Jack Sparrow left 'on his tod' on the dark streets of Edgbaston.
Here's to next time and please let it be soon.
A VALIANT EFFORT
Those of you at the T20 finals day will, I hope, have had a good day. The final did not go to plan, but the Bears match must have been very enjoyable, especially after our two last ball defeats in the group by the team formerly known as Warwickshire
After getting the time off I needed at short notice, and booking a seat on the supporters' coach, all I needed was a ticket. The sold out notices directed me to the buy/sell/exchange web sites.
There were some horrifyingly high prices and tickets only to be sold in batches.
Finally Viagogo offered a ticket in the West Stand for £68 hiked to £92 by the inevitable charges and in joyful desperation, I clicked checkout.
This was the Tuesday before the finals and I felt well set for a great day out. However, come Friday the postman had been, and UPS, the designated delivery company came and went without calling.
The ticket had been given to a friend by the seller I was told, and there were no more available.To be fair, there is a refund on its way and a £20 voucher to lessen my disappointment.
Beware these sites; I have always been used to receiving my purchase once the payment has been taken, but this experience has taught me a lesson.
Thursday 29 October
Thursday 26 November
Thursday 17 December
Thursday 28 January
Thursday 25 February
Thursday 31 March
To book for this lunch please contact Linda Fisher on 07989844171.
The cost of lunches remains £12.50
Thursday 15 October
SUPPORTERS CLUB PLAYER OF THE YEAR
I am pleased to announce that the Supporters Club Player of the Year for 2015 is Ben Duckett. Ben truly seemed to 'come of age' in 2015 with a number of mature performances. He wasn't even born when we made our first award in 1993! Voting was certainly wide open this year with a total of eight different players receiving votes. Thank you to everyone who participated and well done to Ben!
Here are some T20-related questions;
- Which two counties are the Steelbacks yet to face (as of the end of the 2015 season)?
- At which venue did Northants play their first match in the competition in 2003?
- Who hit Northamptonshire's first T20 century in 2007?
- Which county were defeated at the County Ground in the 2009 Quarter-final as the Steelbacks reached Finals Day for the first time?
- The Steelbacks' highest total – 224-5 – was achieved at which venue?
- 6. And the lowest total against – 86 – was by which county?
Quiz Answers: 1. Kent and Middlesex; 2. New Road, Worcester; 3. Lance Klusener (111* v Worcestershire at Kidderminster in 2007), 4. Hampshire; 5. Campbell Park, Milton Keynes; 6. Worcestershire (in 2006)
Northamptonshire County Cricket Supporters Club would like to thank Autohome for their assistance in the printing of this newsletter.