LANCASHIRE head coach Peter Moores is confident a winter of focused and dedicated work will ensure last season’s County Championship triumph is no flash in the pan.
The Red Rose ended a 77-year wait to claim English cricket’s most coveted prize outright with a dramatic final evening run-chase to overcome Somerset, while favourites Warwickshire laboured in the face of Hampshire resistance at the Rose Bowl.
A year ago Moores insisted that his youthful, largely homegrown, squad could overcome the weight of history and expectation to challenge for honours.
Not many people believed there was much chance of that dream coming true.
But the Red Rose bunch of largely home gown heroes managed to defy the odds and claim the glory.
“I think as a squad we’ve moved forward,” Moores said of the players who won last year’s championship “I think as a squad we’ve moved forward,” said Moores. “You don’t really know until you start playing, but I was really impressed with our workrate and how we worked in the winter.
“You can’t help but compare yourself a little bit with other people that you’re working with on the other sides and we look like we’re going to be in pretty good shape come the start of the season.”
The former England coach admits he misses the international scene but says last year’s Championship success went some way to making up for that.
“Of course I miss England,” he said. “But Lancashire is a great set up and winning the title is special.
“The most satisfying thing about the rise is that it has been a collective effort, a coming together of all the support staff, the coaches and the medical people, and a group of players who take responsibility for themselves.
“We aim to send players on to the park feeling they have control over what they do.
“It has been helped by the fact that we have had a bit of adversity, with not so much money and a smaller squad, but through this everyone at the club has come together and said, ‘Let’s fight our corner’.
“That attitude won’t change this summer and we will go all out to try and defend our crown.”