Leicestershire captain Mark Cosgrove believes a packed Grace Road can roar his team to a season-changing victory when the Foxes face local rivals Derbyshire Falcons in the T20 Blast on Thursday.
Leicestershire have already sold more than 4,500 tickets for the game, and with good weather forecast, Grace Road is going to be close to full, generating the kind of atmosphere which inspires exceptional performances.
“Those sort of numbers in Grace Road sound like 10,000 plus in some of the bigger grounds, and we’ll be aiming to put on a seriously good show for them,” said the Australian, who has only previously experienced matches in the T20 south group.
Having lost a last ball thriller against Lancashire at Old Trafford in their opening fixture, and been unfortunate in the timing of a rain break in the middle of building what looked as though it was going to be a formidable total, Cosgrove believes Leicestershire have already shown they will be a force in the short-form of the game this season
“We played a really good game at Old Trafford last Friday, the rain stifled us a little bit, but even then we almost made it over the line, so with a big crowd behind us against Derby, we’ll be looking to win and take that momentum into next week and the rest of the season,” he said.
New Zealand World Cup star Grant Elliott comes into the Foxes’ side, as does exciting Ireland international Kevin O’Brien. Both made useful contributions against Lancashire, with O’Brien hitting two sixes in scoring 47 from just 27 balls.
“Grant and Kevin are big-game players, they give us something different, and we just need to polish our game a little bit to be right in there,” said Cosgrove.
The match against Derbyshire will be preceded by a Leicester “Varsity” match, when the De Montfort University team take on city rivals the University of Leicester (UoL), starting at 12.30pm.
“A double header is a fantastic idea, and it would be great if all of the students stay to cheer us on against the Falcons, because it will be a fun evening with plenty on offer as well as the cricket,” said Cosgrove.
The Leicestershire squad is: Cosgrove, Eckersley, Elliott, McKay, Naik, K O’Brien, N O’Brien, Pinner, Raine, Sheik, Sykes, Taylor, Wells.