Lancashire captain Dane Vilas had a dream summer with the bat leading from the top with over 1,000 championship runs – but he insists it was a team effort that won his promotion.
Vilas scores an amazing 101.60 from his 14 championship innings.
But he admits that many other authoritative contributions to Lancashire have made seven wins in twelve games.
"Everyone has their hands up, and to make it with two remaining games, I could not be more proud," he told BBC Radio Lancashire.
"It takes a lot of stress and means we can now focus on getting the title as well.
"We were under great pressure to perform well, but we did that, and the captain of the club was a great honor," added the six-time South African test player.
Vilas is facing a personal milestone
Lancashire still has two games ahead of him – next week at Middlesex, followed by a promotion game at Durham – to collect the five other points he needs to win the Division 2 title for the third time after winning this already had done in 2005 and 2005 in 2013.
Vilas had the frustration of losing the T20 Blast quarter-final last week when he selflessly blamed himself for the late bowling change that cost his team the game against Essex on Chester-le-Street.
To further alleviate the pain, he now also has the opportunity to create the history of Lancashire by finishing with the highest average for any season in the history of any county player, a record currently held by the Australian coach Stuart Law is held voter middlesex.with 91 in 2003.
In his three seasons at Old Trafford, Vilas has increased his numbers from 662 runs on average from 33.10 in 2017 to 792 runs from 37.71 in 2018 to 1.016 this year. Personal goals, however, are secondary to his agenda.
"My goal was to make 1,000 runs and I achieved what's fantastic," added Vilas, who has only been eliminated twice in the championship cricket since July 23.
"But for me the most important thing was to see some of the kids through and that helped me.
"It's nice when you come out to beat when the young lads have created a good platform in front of you, and I'm just glad I can contribute to that."
|Lancashire's Top 10 Run Getters (who have scored 1,000 championship runs in one season)|
|player||Runs / Average)||player||Runs / Average|
|2019 – Dane Vilas||(1,016 to 101,60)||1947 – Cyril Washbrook||1,950 at 78.00|
|2003 – Stuart Law||1,820 at 91.00||1928 – Ernest Tyldesley||2,467 on 77.09|
|1948 – Cyril Washbrook||1,468 at 86.35||2013 – Simon Katich||1,097 at 73.13|
|1990 – Neil Fairbrother||1.681 on 80.04||1927 – Charlie Hallows||2.119 on 73.06|
|1990 – Michael Atherton||1,170 at 78.00||1946 – Cyril Washbrook||1,938 at 71.77|
"We want to bring Maxwell back"
Australian Glenn Maxwell not only played a key role in Lancashire's march in the T20 Blast, but also played four championship games on both sides of his bid for the World Cup cricket.
He met half a century and took 14 wickets – and Vilas is keen to get him back next summer to bolster his team's hopes in Division One of the championship, subject to Australia's international commitments.
"Anyone who becomes part of Lancashire is always welcome," Vilas said. "You never know what the international schedule is and how busy it will be.
"But if he feels like it next year or so, and the schedule allows it, it would be great if we could get him back.
"Glenn was awesome, it's not just the player's caliber, but, above all, the way he was in the locker room.
"He helped a lot of young people, even the older players, he played all over the world – he's a fantastic guy – and you learn from him.
"Watching him train and what he thinks about the game was really good, he's a real pro and we're very happy to have him."