Sunday, 25 September 2016, 08:06pm
Angus Fraser challenges Middlesex to repeat County Championship title success
Toby Roland-Jones' hat-trick secured Middlesex's first championship, Specsavers Division One in its modern guise, since 1993 to win by 61 runs against Yorkshire deep into the final session of the campaign at Lord's on Friday.
It was a victory which both halted Yorkshire's own hat-trick bid, after their successes over the past two seasons, and confirmed Somerset must try again in pursuit of a first title in their long history.
When Roland-Jones bowled number 11 Ryan Sidebottom round his legs, he was also delivering championship glory which has evaded Middlesex since the playing days of their current managing director of cricket Angus Fraser.
The former England seamer, one of the first to spot the ultra-consistent Roland-Jones' potential to become a contemporary version of himself, knows his and his team's challenge is immediately renewed to prove their superiority again - as Yorkshire did under coach Jason Gillespie and captain Andrew Gale.
"Obviously, our goal is to try to achieve what Yorkshire have achieved," Fraser told Sky Sports.
"They've been a magnificent side for two or three years now."
Fraser is confident Middlesex have it in them and that, with rising stars like prolific opener Nick Gubbins and others already established in their prime, a repeat success is achievable.
He said: "If we'd lost (this match) you still think 'hang on, we're a side that's moving in the right direction and we're going to be a decent side for the next four or five years'.
"We've got a number of players at a good age, mid to late-20s, who have played quite a bit of cricket, some good senior heads and a couple of youngsters like Nick Gubbins coming through - which is wonderful."
As well as looking ahead, Fraser took time to enjoy this year's success - one which has provided even more satisfaction than his 1993 title.
"This is more special, actually," he said. "I'm so chuffed for them.
"To watch a group of young men develop and achieve it's very, very satisfying.
"Everybody at the club works their socks off behind the scenes to prepare them as well as they can, but to see them go out there and enjoy moments like this is extremely special."
Fraser returned to cricket with his lifelong club after a notable spell as a national newspaper journalist.
It is a move which has paid off.
"You talk a good game, so you want to try to deliver one," he said of his decision to stop writing and start competing again.
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Toby Roland-Jones' stunning hat-trick clinched the County Championship title for Middlesex.