“Quiet town but some lovely people.”
That is West Indies captain Jason Holder’s verdict of Northampton having been in Northamptonshire for three weeks.
His starring role against Warwickshire helped secure a first victory in this season’s Royal London One-Day Cup and Northants head to Lancashire on Wednesday hoping to renew their bid for a place in the knockout stage.
When Holder signed for a short early-season stint with Northants, expectations were raised that he could propel the county to a flying start to the season.
It has taken until the fifth match, across the Specsavers County Championship and One-Day Cup, to secure a win so has Holder felt any pressure to deliver?
“I don’t really feel any pressure,” he said.
“I came out here to get some match practise in English conditions and to contribute to a team effort. In the first two Championship matches there wasn’t a lot in it in terms of trying to force a result. In my mind I knew the one-day matches were where I could have a big impact so it’s great to be able to put in a couple of decent displays.”
It has not just been with bat and ball that Holder has tried to help Northants.
He has worked closely with several of the squad, including Blessing Muzarabani, the Zimbabwean fast bowler who impressed with the new ball against Warwickshire.
“I thought Blessing was outstanding,” Holder said.
“I was proud of him. He held a line really well, bowled a great length and caused problems. His height is obviously a great asset for him and if he gets the ball into a good area he can cause a lot of problems.
“I’ve spent a lot of time with him and he just needs a bit of love. He’s got a lot of good attributes and hopefully he’ll be able to improve and make a great impact for Northants.”
Holder has also used his experience of one of the more challenging captaincies in world cricket to pass on advice to Northants skipper Alex Wakely.
“He’s asked me a few things on the field and I’ve tried to give him as much advice as possible,” he said.
“He’s got a very good idea of the guys he’s playing with but the more everyone can come together and share their ideas, the more the team will benefit.
“Alex has been outstanding so far with his performances and batted very nicely.”
Holder will definitely be involved in two more fixtures for Northants, starting with a trip to Emirates Old Trafford – where he will return to twice during the World Cup when West Indies play New Zealand and India.
But his immediate task is to help his adopted county build on Sunday’s victory.
“These are the games you want to do well in when you’ve got quality opposition on a big ground,” said Holder.
“Everyone should be up for the task and we’ll be looking to carry on this momentum. Everyone contributed very nicely on Sunday and hopefully we can kick on from here.”
Tickets for Northamptonshire home matches can be purchased on the county’s website via this link.