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Champions 2011

Aussie delight at title win

Aussie delight at title win

Lancashire were cheered on to Championship glory at Taunton last week by a healthy smattering of vocal supporters.

But there were thousands upon thousands of Red Rose followers unable to make the trip to the West Country, yet still desperate to know how their side was getting on in the bid to clinch a first outright title since 1934.

From Manchester to Melbourne, from Horwich to Hong Kong or from Chorley to California, they would have all been tuning into either the TV, live commentary on the Radio or websites providing various means of live coverage.

Whether they were sat at home with a cuppa or dodging the eagle-eyed boss at work, the feeling of excitement would have been exactly the same when Steven Croft hit the winning runs.

And that was no different in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where two Australians with strong connections to the Lancashire dressing room were willing the players on.

Stuart Law, the former Old Trafford captain, and Jason Swift, the former Lancashire fielding coach and video analyst (pictured above), were on tenterhooks.

The pair are now an integral part of the coaching staff for the Bangladesh national team, having taken up their posts earlier this summer.

But Lancashire is a club still close to their hearts.

Law and Swift were otherwise engaged for the majority of Thursday, overseeing a match in the Bangladesh Cricket Board Cup, yet they were still able to keep abreast of the scores from Taunton and the Rose Bowl.

They were able to watch the closing stages back at their respective homes in Dhaka, and a few tears of joy were shed.

"Unbelievable," said Swift, who left Old Trafford immediately before the Roses match against Yorkshire at Headingley in late July. "I'm absolutely delighted.

"I was with Stuey up until about 20 runs to go. We were both pumped up. I was celebrating with a drop of Greygoose vodka. It's just a fantastic win for the boys.

"Stuey was a bit calmer than me, just saying that it was out of our control. But that didn't stop me shouting at the TV.

"We had a game over here in the Bangladesh Cricket Board Cup earlier in the day, but I was able to keep up to date on Twitter and on the scorecards because we've got wifi at the ground.

"When I got home, I was able to watch it unfold. But they were showing the Warwickshire game from the Rose Bowl for a while. I watched the last five or ten minutes of our run chase when they switched the coverage.

"At stumps on Wednesday, I have to admit that I was thinking it was Warwickshire's. I was hoping that Hampshire would put up a fight, and they did to their credit. You can't credit Hampshire enough for the way they fought, especially McKenzie and Carberry.

"But we still had to get those 211 runs from 28-30 overs, and the way the boys did it was absolutely fantastic."

Swift is enjoying his new role, despite a losing start on a recent tour of Zimbabwe.

But the New South Welshman, understandably, admitted that he would have loved to have been in the thick of the celebrations at Taunton on Thursday evening.

He added: "It would have been like Christmas for me to have been able to be there with the boys celebrating, but I had to make a decision at the time that was right for myself and my family.

"Holding up a trophy is where you want to be. That's where the boys are now. And, despite being very happy with my current job, I'd obviously have loved to be there with them celebrating their success."

Graham Hardcastle
Photo (c) Simon Pendrigh
Article (c) Lancashire County Cricket Club


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