Northamptonshire’s squad has flown out to Singapore for their pre-season tour.

The trip is a culmination of efforts by the club, Singapore Cricket Club and the British Chamber of Commerce and marks the true start of the club’s new partnership in Singapore.

A ground-breaking tour and partnership, this is the first time a first-class county has visited this part of the world.

“Northamptonshire Cricket has established a Global Partnership Strategy, to enhance the brand and increase awareness and following on a global scale.” Chief Executive Ray Payne said.

“Singapore has a developing National Team and with our association with Singapore Cricket there are real opportunities for both parties to mutual develop cricket.”

Singapore Cricket Club will play host for the duration of the tour, a superb venue and facility in the heart of Singapore, established in 1884. The training camp is centred around the Club and its facilities, as well as hosting a T20 fixture against a Singapore XI.

While Payne admitted the outbreak of coronavirus proved cause for concern initially, he was confident that every appropriate measure had been put in place.

“It’s a situation that we’ve monitored on a daily basis with key personal both in Singapore and the UK. Singapore has had in place for over six weeks a very effective method of containment and the situation over there has been controlled extremely well.”

Steven Crook, Northamptonshire’s Head of Sponsorships and Partnerships, who has been instrumental in the organisation of the trip said the players health was at the forefront of plans.

“We’ve briefed the players about the personal responsibility they have to ensure their health, and that of the group is maintained. This is mainly around personal hygiene standards and what they can do to reduce risk.”

“We’ve worked with the SCC and we’ll be monitoring and temperature checking anyone who enters the club facilities. We’ve created personal and group action plans should something happen.”

Both Crook and Chief Executive Ray Payne were quick to thank a number of people for ensuring that the trip is able to go ahead unaffected.

“I’ve been receiving information from many sources over the last 6-8 weeks, and have been monitoring the situation daily – at times, on an hourly basis.” Crook said.

“David Kelly, Executive Director of the British Chamber of Commerce Singapore, Scott McKechnie and Julyany Audouy within Singapore have provided us with daily updates of the situation on the ground.

The simple answer is that we wouldn’t be going if it wasn’t for their support.” He added.

“Prof. Nick Peirce, Chief Medical Officer at the ECB has also assisted us with UK guidelines in ensuring this tour proceeds with the players health at the forefront of our plans and actions. Rich Hudson at the PCA and the club’s PCA Player Representative Rob Keogh have both been brilliant too in helping liaise with the playing squad and pulling the lads together.”

The squad departed for Singapore this morning and will return on Friday the 20th of March. The tour includes a strong focus on outdoor net practice along with a showcase Ladies Day T20 event against a Singapore XI which has drawn strong interest and ticket sales from the surrounding community.

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