County skipper Peters cannot wait to get going against Durham

Stephen Peters
Stephen Peters
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Stephen Peters will be a relieved man when the first ball of Northamptonshire’s season is bowled at the County Ground on Sunday morning (start 11am).

There has been an air of anticipation among the Northants squad as they wait to get stuck into their first top-flight County Championship campaign since 2004.

That has only intensified after they were excluded from the first round of fixtures and the captain hopes his charges’ eagerness can be harnessed when defending champions Durham come to town.

Peters said: “I’d have loved to have been involved in the games that started last week but it wasn’t to be.

“Everybody’s buzzing around here and they’re all really up for it.

“They’re as keen as mustard, which is nice to see, and it will be a weight off my mind when we finally get going.”

Durham didn’t have a league game last week either, and warmed up for the trip to Northampton with a draw against Durham MCCU, with skipper Paul Collingwood scoring a century.

The former England man is preparing for what is likely to be his final season as a cricketer before retiring, and he is aiming to go out with a bang

“You want to put in the big performances and go out on a real high,” said Collingwood.

“The goal is to win things with this team but also contribute runs.

“At any time you want to enjoy what you do and I’ve been privileged to do this for a long time and I’ve enjoyed it.

“When something is closing to an end you want to enjoy it even more and savour every moment.”