WORCESTERSHIRE skipper Joe Leach has hailed his side’s Championship-winning effort as ‘brilliant’ and urged his pace attack to show the same form next season.
Leach led from the front and topped the wicket charts with 69 scalps as the Pears ensured Division One cricket at New Road next season.
The popular all-rounder secured promotion in his first season at the helm at New Road and paid tribute to his team’s efforts on and off the field.
“It’s brilliant, we have been promoted before but to go up as champions is a really nice feeling,” he said.
“When you have a group of 11 guys with something on the game against a side who may not then the luck tends to go your way. We’ll take it though because I think we deserve it but we certainly deserve to go up as champions.”
The pressures of captaincy did not affect the all-rounder who picked up a ten-wicket game haul and a nine-wicket match haul in the early stages of the Championship challenge.
“I’m the kind of guy who tries to lead by example, I said when I took over the captaincy I didn’t want it to affect my form and fortunately it hasn’t,” he said.
Leach led a pace-fuelled attack which included the likes of teenagers Josh Tongue and Patrick Brown and all-rounders such as Ed Barnard who finished with 49 championship wickets.
“The attack is really exciting and I imagine there will be some sides in Division One who will look at our attack and give us due respect next year,” he said.
“There are guys like Jack Shantry and Charlie Morris who have taken 50 wickets in Division One before yet they haven’t featured in the run-in. That shows just what a squad we are building here and it’s really exciting.”
Leach admitted he would look back on the 2017 season with relish and pointed to the eight-wicket win over Nottinghamshire as one of the best memories.
“The first special moment which comes to mind is winning at Trent Bridge which is good for the group that we know we can go to places like that and beat them and that bodes well for next year in Division One.”