Cricket fans are being urged to give the county’s team a heroes’ reception as they celebrate one of the greatest seasons in the club’s history with an open-top bus parade.
Supporters will have their chance to salute Northants County Cricket Club as the club’s players parade through the streets of Northampton tomorrow evening (Friday).
The bus parade, which will end with a civic reception at The Guildhall, will travel from the County Ground to the town centre, where celebrations will be held to mark the club’s double success this season.
Last month, the Steelbacks claimed their first major trophy in more than two decades when the side lifted the Friends Life T20 trophy at Edgbaston, in Birmingham.
And to round off an historic season, the side yesterday clinched promotion to Division One of the County Championship, after rivals Essex failed to pick up enough bonus points to overtake them.
The club’s chief executive, David Smith, urged fans to turn out to give the side the reception they deserve.
He said: “We’ve had a huge amount of support from everyone in the town.
“Hopefully it will be a really, really good evening and it is one we’re really looking forward to.
“It’s great for the town to have three clubs that have had a really good 2013, with the Cobblers getting to Wembley and the Saints getting to Twickenham and we’re delighted to build on that.”
The team will set off from the County Ground at around 6.15pm in an open-top bus and then parade the T20 trophy through St Giles Street before arriving at The Guildhall at about 6.30pm for a civic reception.
Officials say the best vantage point for supporters wanting to welcome the side will be along St Giles Street and outside The Guildhall.
Players will then parade the T20 trophy at Franklin’s Gardens at half-time of the Saint’s match against Sale on the same night.
Councillor David Mackintosh (Con, Rectory Farm) the leader of Northampton Borough Council, said: “Congratulations to everyone at Northants Cricket for completing a fantastic year. This year saw the team improve in every format of the sport and this has been rewarded with success in the T20 cup and the County Championship.
“On Friday evening we are giving everyone the chance to join the celebrations as we recognise our sporting heroes. So come into the town centre to see the players parade in an open top bus.”
County cricket legend Allan Lamb has hailed Northamptonshire’s double success as “massive”.
The former England legend, who scored more than 20,000 runs for the county, said: “I think winning the T20 and getting promotion is a massive achievement for them because nobody expected it and they have proved all the doubters to be wrong.”
Asked about Friday’s parade, the Northants legend, who is now a director on the Wantage Road board, added: “I think it is fantastic. It is about the team and the team should be getting the acclaim.
“I think for the players it is a great achievement and I think the public should get out and support them.”