Jim Lyon - Relish having the best come to our county

Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.
Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.

Whenever people say ‘no disrespect intended’ it normally means they have come out with something very disrespectful indeed.

So, I suppose, I am about show no respect whatsoever to the likes of Leicestershire, Glamorgan and Worcestershire.

Never mind...good riddance to you.

I know the LV= County Championship is nearly a week old already but, for Northamptonshire, it does not get going until Sunday - and then it is hello Division One.

A return to the top table and a feast of cricket involving the very best players in the land.

Even to the most world-weary County fan that must surely bring a little tingle to the spine.

For so long, it seems, the first day of the season has been a bitterly cold day at Grace Road or Derby’s County Ground and that does not exactly bring untold glamour with it.

This year the opening match brings the champions - yes, the champions, the best team in the land - to Wantage Road.

After trudging around in the second tier, this summer promises much for players and supporters alike.

From my perspective a season, even if that is all it proves to be, in the top flight brings more satisfaction than the Twenty20 silverware secured at Edgbaston last year.

My tastes certainly lean more to the purer form of the game than the happy-clappy.

And wonderful though a cup win was, I firmly believe promotion was the better achievement.

For one, you are able physically savour the reward it brings for longer.

And savour it we should.

It will be tough for Northamptonshire, there is no question of that.

No matter what expectations some may have, anything beyond staying up should be treated as a massive bonus.

It can be done but not many outside our county border will be handing over much money to back it.

In the meantime there will be some very good cricket played, several top-class players performing and hopefully a few decent results as well.

Enjoy it, for tomorrow we may be back at Grace Road. No disrespect intended.