The man who hit the winning runs to seal Lancashire's Championship glory is confident that the county will go from strength to strength in the coming seasons.
Steven Croft finished 40 not out against Somerset at Taunton last Thursday as the Red Rose side chased down 211 inside 30 overs for the loss of just two wickets.
He shared an unbroken third-wicket stand of 78 with Karl Brown after openers Paul Horton and Stephen Moore, both who scored half-centuries, had put on 131 for the first wicket to get the chase off to a perfect start.
Croft described winning the Championship as a dream moment in his career, saying "I'm delighted and privileged to be involved".
And the 26 year-old, who has captained the side excellently in one-day cricket this summer, was quick to praise his colleagues as well.
"It has been a brilliant team effort," he said. "Everybody has chipped in with runs, chipped in with wickets. There have been no stars, no high-profile overseas players. We put in the hard yards from November onwards, and it has been an awesome team effort. Our team spirit is second to none."
“Horts and Moorey put on the best century partnership we have had all year. They made it a lot easier for me and Browny. We played our natural game. It has been a brilliant team all year."
Croft played in the match against Surrey in 2007 when Lancashire narrowly lost out in the Championship race to Sussex, and he has also been involved in a number of near one-day misses too.
But, now that the first piece of major silverware since 1999 has been claimed, he has backed the squad to go from strength to strength.
He added: "At the start of the season, people said we were going to get relegated because we didn’t have much experience. But we have all been playing together for about ten years, coming through the ranks and in the seconds.
“You can’t buy that team spirit we have had this year. We have been a unit, and that showed.
“Hopefully this is the first of many trophies. It is a great season for us having been written off at the start of the year. We reached Finals Day, won the Championship, but there is plenty more to come from us.
“There was no pressure on us this season. People were saying before a ball had been bowled we were going to be relegated. That makes this even more special."
Croft finished the season with 825 runs from 16 matches, including back-to-back centuries against Warwickshire at Liverpool and Worcestershire at Blackpool, the ground where he learnt his trade.
Photo (c) Simon Pendrigh
Article (c) Lancashire CCC