Home comfort is driving Steelbacks on, says skipper Wakely

Big-match atmospheres and the dream of a home quarter-final are inspiring the Steelbacks in their Friends Life t20 campaign.

By Jim Lyon
Thursday, 18th July 2013, 3:38 pm
Alex Wakely
Alex Wakely

That is according to the man leading them from the front, captain Alex Wakely.

They have won all four of their matches at Wantage Road so far and all have been played out in front of a large support.

The people of Northamptonshire have certainly come out in force to back their boys.

Which is something Wakely is keen to acknowledge and he emphasised the inspiration it offers to his players.

“I really want to say how good the crowds have been,” he stated.

“We love playing in front of big crowds like we have done so far.

“It makes it so much more enjoyable for us and gives us a chance to perform and entertain people.

“It’s great that people are talking about Northants Cricket again and are coming in to watch us – long may it continue.

“The atmosphere has been great here. They’ve really got behind us.

“But then I suppose it is news to them to see us winning!

“We haven’t done it enough recently but hopefully we are now showing them that we can win those crucial moments and crucial games.”

That winning feeling has certainly brought a momentum to the Twenty20 push.

But talk to anyone at the club and they will be quick to emphasise there is no getting ahead of themselves.

However, Wakely did admit he would love the chance to experience again the sort of atmosphere the County Ground produced when Hampshire were beaten on a dramatic night back in 2009.

“If we could get a couple more wins and a home quarter-final that would be brilliant,” Wakely said.

“David Willey and I both played in the quarter-final we had here against Hampshire and we both remember it so well.

“We were at long-on and long-off, right in front off the crowd and they were all banging on the boards.

“It made the hair stand up on the back of our necks.

“It was the best atmosphere I’ve ever played in and the memory has really stuck with me.

“If there is any chance of getting that again it would great.”