Northamptonshire’s new chief executive David Smith has drawn up an ambitious five-year plan for the county which includes securing promotion this season and winning a one-day trophy and a place in the Champions League Twenty20 competition by 2016.
Smith’s plan also includes a commitment to playing a minimum of nine English-qualified players this season and to producing more homegrown talent through Northamptonshire’s youth and academy systems.
“The aim is to emulate Somerset and Sussex who are two of the best non-Test Match counties,” said Smith, a former Warwickshire batsman who was previously Leicestershire’s chief executive.
“Somerset have an enormous catchment area and Sussex were left a financial legacy, but there is no reason why we should not aspire to being the best non-Test Match county.
“We have narrowly missed out on Championship promotion twice in three years so the aim is to get into the first division and then to maintain our status there.
“I would also like to see us win a one-day competition and qualify to play in the Champions League. People might that I am being over-ambitious but I want us to be challenging to be among the best. We don’t want to create an environment of complacency.”
Smith’s clearly laid-out objectives include forging closer links with local clubs and the Northamptonshire Cricket Board, improving the club’s scouting network and producing two players for England international age group teams this year.
By 2014 Smith hopes that Northamptonshire will have five players who are products of the county’s youth and academy structure playing first-class cricket.
By 2016, moreover, Smith hopes that Northamptonshire will have produced a centrally contracted England player.