ENGLAND-bound Peter Moores may have left Lancashire with them bottom of the LV= County Championship after two matches of 2014, but he believes he has helped assemble a squad with significant potential.
New national coach Moores ended his five and a bit years in charge at Emirates Old Trafford on Wednesday when the Red Rose secured a nervy draw against Warwickshire.
It has been a rollercoaster ride for the 51-year-old Lancashire fan, whose reign as coach will be best remembered for the club winning their first Championship title in 77 years in 2011.
The county have narrowly missed out on limited overs glory on a number of occasions since 2009, while they suffered Championship relegation in 2012 but bounced back by winning Division Two last season.
Off the field, Lancashire successfully came through a protracted legal battle to redevelop Old Trafford. They hosted an Ashes Test last year, and recently announced a profit of £3.5m after four years of losses.
“It has been great fun,” said Moores. “We have had some highs and some lows. We have been through it together.
“The club has been through all sorts off the field, but I have felt privileged to have been part of what has been a great period of change and evolution.
“In that time, we have managed to win the First Division, go down, then win the Second Division.
“We have developed a lot of young Lancashire players who have come through, and it is exciting for the club. Hopefully they will go on and have great careers and keep the club in a healthy state.
“The exciting thing is that this team has lots more potential. Simon Kerrigan will have learnt a huge amount from his Test debut – some tough lessons maybe – but lessons to build on.
“The challenge for some of the batsmen is to really step up to the plate.
“And we have some young bowlers who need to take over the mantle from Glen Chapple. He can't go on forever. He is brilliant, but he can't perform like that forever. Someone needs to do that. That challenge is out there for those players.”
Winning the Championship was the obvious highlight for Moores, who saw left-arm spinner Kerrigan take nine wickets in the second innings to win the penultimate match of the season against Hampshire at Liverpool to keep their hopes alive.
“Kerrigan's performance – I will never forget that as long as I live,” he added.