Stephen Peters couldn’t hide his delight after his Northamptonshire side booked their place in Division One.
An outstanding LV= County Championship campaign has culminated in a return to the elite after a 10-year absence and Peters, in his first year in charge, feels it is a prize that has been warranted.
He said: “It’s no more than we deserved. We’ve been the second best team in the division by far all year and therefore it would’ve been cruel if we hadn’t got what we deserved.
“For me, it’s no more than we deserve for the hard work and effort that everyone has put in from a group of players who were very honest about how poor we were last year.
“You’ve always got to back it up the year after but at the moment we’ll enjoy the fact that we’ve really made some strides as a club.
“The last couple of weeks have been a bit stressful but I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved as a club this year, the T20 and then this.”
One of those strides has been the consistency displayed over a five-month period which hasn’t relented in the deciding fixture, a factor Peters acknowledged.
He added: “What I was really pleased with was how we played on day one.
“We came down here like a team that wanted to win the game.”
As for today, Peters admitted to his nerves being settled once a batting point was in the bag.
“I know it’s only one point but I felt happier when we got over 200. It was always going to be a tough ask for Essex,” he said.