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Shah kept eyes on the prize

Batsman relieved after Middlesex end 15-year wait for trophy

Shah celebrates Twenty20 Cup win

Owais Shah attributes Middlesex's Twenty20 Cup win to their focus on silverware above cash.

"We didn't really speak about the money in the build-up to the finals day."

Owais Shah

Quotes of the week

A three-run final victory over Kent at the Rose Bowl on Saturday has put Middlesex on course for a financial bonanza, with the prospect of £2.5million prize money if they triumph in the proposed Champions League tournament.

And after that they have the chance to claim a small portion of Sir Allen Stanford's fortune.

The Texan billionaire has arranged a series of matches involving England's Twenty20 champions in the build-up to the £10million match between England and the Stanford Superstars in Antigua on November 1.

Those riches dominated the build-up to Twenty20 Cup finals day everywhere but the Middlesex dressing room, which was more intent on ending a 15-year wait for a major trophy since winning the County Championship in 1993.

Money

"We didn't really speak about the money in the build-up to the finals day," insisted Shah, who played a key role in the final victory over Kent by hammering a brilliant 75 off 35 balls, including six fours and five sixes.

"We haven't won much in the 10 to 15 years I've been at the club and we really made a conscious effort not to get ahead of ourselves.

"We wanted to take one game at a time and we would have taken all that after we had won the finals day but we were trying not to think about it before it had happened - it wasn't mentioned at all in the dressing room."

Shah admitted he was beginning to get edgy in the final when Kent needed only six runs from the final three deliveries to retain the trophy.

"It was going through my head that we had done everything correctly, we hadn't got ahead of ourselves and yet it still was coming down to the last ball," he admitted.

"I was just praying really hard that things could go our way."

Rewards

Now Middlesex have ended their wait for success, they could all cash in on the financial rewards on offer - starting with three games in Antigua at the end of October which could earn each player thousands if they are successful.

They face England's Twenty20 side on October 26 and Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies' Twenty20 champions, the next day and complete their trip with a match against Stanford's Super Stars on October 29.

"Everyone will be thrilled to play in that tournament and put their case forward to the England selectors when they play against England," said Shah.

"We've got some really good youngsters coming through and it's their chance to show how good they are against the main England side."

But Shah could also find himself in an uncomfortable position for that match should England require his services and ask him to play against Middlesex, a club he has represented since 1996, for the first time.

"It's going to be tough, but playing for your country obviously comes first and I'll be trying my best to win whoever I play for," he stressed.