Steelbacks skipper McManus setting his sights on silverware in One Day Cup

Northants Steelbacks' 50-over skipper Lewis McManus (Picture: Clive Mason/Getty Images)Northants Steelbacks' 50-over skipper Lewis McManus (Picture: Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Northants Steelbacks' 50-over skipper Lewis McManus (Picture: Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Lewis McManus knows what it takes to win the One Day Cup - and the new Steelbacks skipper is keen to do it all again this summer.

McManus was part of the Hampshire team that won the national 50-over competition in 2018, beating Kent in the final at Lord's, and he is now targeting trophy glory with Northants in 2023.

The wicket-keeper was this week named the County's captain for the Metro Bank One Day Cup, and he is going to be in charge of a strong-looking squad.

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The Steelbacks travel to Cheltenham to take on Gloucestershire in their opener on Friday (11am), and with only two players away for The Hundred, David Willey and Saif Zaib, McManus is going to have plenty of options.

Lewis McManus (left) celebrates Hampshire's One Day Cup triumph at Lord's in 2018Lewis McManus (left) celebrates Hampshire's One Day Cup triumph at Lord's in 2018
Lewis McManus (left) celebrates Hampshire's One Day Cup triumph at Lord's in 2018

The signing this week of Indian batter Prithvi Shaw has further strengthened a squad that also includes the likes of Australian Sam Whiteman, Ricardo Vasconcelos, Emilio Gay, Luke Procter, Rob Keogh, Tom Taylor, James Sales, Justin Broad, Ben Sanderson and Jack White.

And with many other counties significantly more weakened by Hundred call-ups, the One Day Cup could be a great chance for Northants to claim their first silverware since winning the 2016 T20 Blast.

"We see this very much as a competition we want to win," said McManus.

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"It has maybe not been the priority in previous years when it has maybe been used to give young guys some game time.

"But this year we want to try and get some momentum back within the club, and to try and win it. So we are absolutely hoping to field a strong side."

Northants have endured a miserable Championship summer and sit bottom of the Division One table with just four matches remaining, while they also failed to qualify for the Blast knockout stages.

So the One Day Cup is a chance to lift the mood around the County Ground.

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"It has been tough, and we have got a few lads who have been struggling a bit with their confidence," admitted McManus. "But that is division one for you, it is a very tough league.

"We now have a change of format which is exciting, and it's a fresh competition that we are hoping we can compete in and try and win."

Meanwhile, red ball skipper Procter could be in line for his first competitive limited overs action for Northants in two years.

The all-rounder has found himself sidelined by the Steelbacks since playing in a One Day Cup clash against Leicestershire back in August 2021.

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But that could all change in the next few days, with McManus suggesting Procter could be in line to play a key role in the One Day Cup.

On the face of it, Procter looks made for limited overs cricket as the left-hander is a class act with the bat and offers a quality seam bowling option as well.

The player himself is keen to play in all formats, and it seems he could get his wish under the leadership of new skipper McManus.

Procter played a key role in Northants' warm-up win against Cambridgeshire at Peterborough on Sunday, and McManus was asked if the 35-year-old is in with a shout of playing over the course of the next couple of weeks.

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"Luke's obviously been in great form with the bat in the past couple of weeks, but there is also what he offers with the ball," said McManus.

"There is also his cricket awareness in the group, so he is definitely in the frame. It is another place in the team where we have numbers trying to compete to get into that starting XI."

Procter has played in 48 List A matches, scoring 820 runs at of 32.80. The former Lancashire man has a top score of 97, and has made four other half-centuries.

With the ball, Procter has claimed 26 wickets at 41.92 with a best of three for 29.