Nottinghamshire’s cricketers can now reflect on a hugely successful campaign, after securing promotion during the final week of the season.
The county secured a nail-biting draw in their final match, against Sussex at Hove, to take the second promotion spot, which means they will be playing their cricket in Division One of the Specsavers County Championship next summer.
Following on from earlier triumphs in the Royal London One-Day Cup final and the NatWest T20 Blast, the season has, perhaps, been their most successful of all time, certainly since 1987 when they won the First Division title and a Lord’s final also.
Guiding the Nottinghamshire first team, in his first year in charge, has been Peter Moores. The Head Coach was full of pride at Hove as his primary goal had been achieved.
“What a season,” he said. “For the first time in a long time we can actually sit back and enjoy some of the achievements.
“It has been a brilliant season and credit to everybody, on and off the field, that has helped to get us there.”
Last Tuesday, when reduced to 65 for five in their first innings, still 500 runs behind Sussex, things began to look a little dicey but their retiring captain stepped forward, as he has done so many times over the years.
Chris Read bowed out of cricket with a brilliant century, and added 242 with Billy Root, who also scored a hundred.
Moores praised both players, for the way they stepped forward when needed.
“We’ve had to scramble over the line,” he reflected. “But we saw an unbelievable moment when Chris went to his hundred. It was the sort of achievement that gives you goose-bumps and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Credit to Billy for stepping up as well.
“That has been a feature all through the season, when we’ve needed somebody to step up and get us over the line, they have.
“The lads have backed each other up and that has helped them to play under pressure at lots of times. It happened in the Royal London final, on T20 Finals Day and at Hove when we were five wickets down. They’ve shared a lot over the last eight or nine months and they have deserved all their rewards.”
Having previously won domestic honours with both Sussex and Lancashire, the summer has seen Moores’ add more success to his own cv but he is quick to play down his involvement.
“It has been a team effort,” he said. “We identified areas where we wanted to get better and the lads have been consistent at that.
“We said, all along, that we can’t guarantee that we would win games but we would try and guarantee that everybody would always put a shift in and put the work in, in both practice and in the games. We all understand we are representing a great club.
“This achievement feels very special and it has put us in a position where we can now compete to try and win the First Division. We know that will be a tough ask but it’s great to have six months now to plan and dream about next year.”