Steelbacks hail ‘special’ evening at Franklin’s Gardens

The Steelbacks showed off their T20 trophy at Franklin's Gardens on Friday ©

Club News Steelbacks hail ‘special’ evening at Franklin’s Gardens

Northamptonshire’s cricket stars were stunned by the standing ovation they received from the Franklin’s Gardens faithful at Friday evening’s game with Sale, all-rounder Andrew Hall calling it the ‘perfect end’ to their day of celebration.

Having toured the town’s streets on an open top bus before a civic reception at the Guildhall the T20 Champions were introduced to almost 13,000 during half-time, less than 48 hours after their promotion into the County Championship was confirmed as well.

“This is lovely,” Hall told BBC Radio Northampton. “We don’t often get the chance to get to see other sporting venues and to get a parade around the pitch and a reception like we have here at the Saints this evening is tremendous. It’s a really proud moment in everybody’s career.

“It’s was really great of Northampton town to put the day on for us and with the reception here, we couldn’t have wished for any better.”

The former skipper wasn’t the only man soaking up the acclaim, however, fellow all-rounder Stephen Crook paying tribute to the Saints supporters.

“It’s pretty special isn’t it?! It’s a great crowd here finishing off a great season, it’s fantastic. We’ve had a phenomenal year and one which will go down in history for us.”

And Northampton-born David Willey – the undoubted star of their T20 success at Edgbaston, a first trophy for the county since 1992 - even joked that the Steelbacks were all too happy to end their celebrations at the town’s biggest sporting venue.

“We don’t get quite this many fans up at Northants [the County Ground],” he added. “We’re happy to nick some off the Saints for the evening!”

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