Cricket: Briers cherishes finishing second

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The Independent Online
Leicestershire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .206 and 67-1

Lancashire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .358-9 dec

Match drawn

THEY say that counties finishing as Championship runners-up are soon forgotten. Nigel Briers, the Leicestershire captain, had an alternative view yesterday when his team retained second place, 42 points behind Warwickshire, after a rainswept draw.

Briers, recently reappointed to lead the county for a sixth year, said: 'I will remember and cherish being runners-up. The players will, too, as will anyone connected with Leicestershire.'

To that, he could have added a few bank managers in the county because emulating a position they last held 12 summers ago was worth pounds 24,250, compared with the pounds 14,000 collected by Nottinghamshire, who were 12 points behind.

'We did remarkably well by making the best of our resources,' Briers said candidly. 'With due respect to the squad, we never pretended to be the best team in the Championship.

'The parts of our squad still added up to an impressive whole. We have been rebuilding in the 1990s and I believe we should do even better next season.'

Only an hour's play was possible on the final day during which Leicestershire improved to 67 for the loss of Phil Simmons.

Simmons, the West Indies all- rounder, who fell just short of 1,000 runs, still earned special praise from Briers. 'He has helped players to emerge as well as making other contributions,' he stressed. David Millns, with 76 wickets in his best season and Paul Nixon, a run-scoring wicketkeeper, have also prospered.