Keen to focus on all forms of cricket, not just T20 - Alex Wakely - Cricket World TV
Northamptonshire are one of three teams in the North Group trying to join Birmingham Bears and Worcestershire Rapids in the NatWest T20 Blast quarter-finals but captain Alex Wakely says their focus is far from solely concentrated on the shortest format of the game.
Speaking to us at the launch of the T20 Blast season at Edgbaston earlier in the year, Wakely admitted that counties such as Northamptonshire often choose to put more resources into one-day cricket than four-day cricket.
However, that isn't going to stop him trying to make sure the Steelbacks are competitive across all formats.
"The club have gone for a white-ball focus. I think financially it is more lucrative for them and that's common knowledge," he said.
"The smaller sides, the non Test-playing grounds, that is the way teams go, and I can understand that."
Although Twenty20 cricket has shot to prominence in recent years with leagues such as the Indian Premier League, the T20 Blast, Australia's Big Bash and others commanding huge audiences, Wakely says four-day cricket is still very relevant.
"Ultimately as a player you are still judged, in my opinion, on your four-day statistics.
"I think if we can pick a fully fit squad all the time in four-day cricket I think we are going to do very well," he added.
So far, not so brilliant for Northamptonshire, unfortunately, as they lie in sixth place in the County Championship's second division with two wins from 11 matches.
Nevertheless, Wakely knew that the season would be tough and an excellent end to the season could see them challenging to finish third or fourth, even if the promotion spots now look out of reach.
"The problem is we have a very small squad and we are not going to be able to rotate like Yorkshire can, when they can rotate a world-class fast bowler for world-class bowler.
"If I can pick fully fit side from the squad we've got I think we'll be very competitive.
"We want to be up there fighting for the promotion places at the end of the year and I personally have got a lot more I want to prove in my four-day career."
In 90 first-class matches - all for Northamptonshire - Wakely has scored 3,908 runs with three centuries at an average of 29.16.
He played two Under-19 Tests and 24 Under-19 One-Day Internationals for England between 2007 and 2008.
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