County news February 27, 2014

T20 helps Northamptonshire post profit

ESPNcricinfo staff

Northamptonshire's Twenty20 success last season has helped them post a profit of £14,700.

Gate receipts came to just under £100,000 and were given a lift by the club hosting a home quarter-final in the Friends Life t20 which they ultimately went onto win.

The bottom line was also boosted by non-cricket activities, particularly a concert by Madness which attracted 12,000 people to Wantage Road and it is the type of event the club want to stage again in the future.

On the downside, membership income was lower by nearly £15,000 but Northamptonshire are far from the only club to witness that and it is emerging as a trend around the counties.

David Smith, the chief executive, said: "The club like so many non-Test match clubs is facing significant financial challenges over the next few years, [but] 2014 promises to offer strong commercial opportunities with the new NatWest T20 Blast schedule looking more favourable with five Friday night home fixtures.

"Our biggest ongoing challenge is to engage more local businesses in supporting the cricket club. I am very hopeful that given the on field success of last season that we can encourage people to support their local cricket club, in our re-furbished dining areas and corporate boxes."

Despite their Twenty20 success none of Northamptonshire's squad found a place in the full England side although David Willey would have been very close if not for injury. However, Ben Duckett was a key part of the Under-19 side that reached the semi-final of the World Cup in the UAE.

"We will continue with our policy of developing a core group of home-grown players, with a sense of who and what they represent, alongside good senior role model cricketers, with a quality overseas player, this we still believe, is the best way to bring success to the cricket club," Smith said.

"Both Olly Stone and Ben Duckett played and captained England Under-19's during 2013 and David Willey played for the England Lions as well as being included in the England Emerging Players Programme. Add to that the contribution of Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar both developed through our academy system and the club can point to a very successful player pathway.

"2014 in Division One will no doubt be challenging, we will be playing against some of the best teams and at some of the best grounds in the country, but if we avoid injuries to players and we perform at the top of our game we are capable of being competitive against any team in the country in any competition."