Former Leicestershire batsman James Taylor has played down suggestions that his old county are in danger of becoming a nursery club for bigger neighbours.
The England one-day international has become the third Leicestershire player to join Nottinghamshire in recent seasons following Stuart Broad and Harry Gurney.
Warwickshire and Lancashire also tried to recruit Taylor but Nottinghamshire became favourites once he had successfully secured his release from the final year of a three-year contract at Grace Road.
Taylor’s desire to test himself against first division attacks to press his claims for an England Test place was the main reason for his decision to join Nottinghamshire and reject a new two-year contract with Leicestershire who found that winning the Friends Life t20 was not enough to keep him at Grace Road.
“It’s a bit harsh to describe Leicestershire as a feeder club,” Taylor said. “Leicestershire gave me the opportunity and I probably wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Leicestershire.
“I’m delighted in the opportunity they gave me and I would always give them a lot of praise for what they have done for me. They brought me through the ranks and made me what I am today.
“A lot of that has to do with Tim Boon, because he has been a great coach for me. But Leicestershire gave me that opportunity and I would like to thank them for everything they have done for me.”
Taylor would not be drawn on whether he would have made a different decision had Boon, who quit Leicestershire in September 2010 to head up England’s Under-19 team, still been at Grace Road. “As it happened he left and I felt it was my time to leave for a new challenge,” he said.
Leicestershire have more talented youngsters such as pace bowler Nathan Buck and batsmen Greg Smith and Shiv Thakor, who are likely to be targets for bigger counties in coming seasons and keeping them will not be easy.
“It’s about the club trying to move forward,” Taylor added. “There has been a lot of talk about the first division and I suppose their ambition is to get into the first division.
“Ultimately by doing that and winning trophies they are going to keep more players and help attract more players to the club.”