Additional Twenty20 import dependent on external finance

Richard Levi made a big contribution as the Steelbacks' second overseas player in the Friends Life t20 success
Richard Levi made a big contribution as the Steelbacks' second overseas player in the Friends Life t20 success
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Northamptonshire chief executive David Smith has admitted that the club are not in a position to sign a second overseas player, as things stand, for the 2014 Twenty20 competition.The signing of Jackson Bird this week, on a deal that encompasses 10 County Championship and seven Twenty20 fixtures, completed the club’s off-season recruitment.

In the process, and taking into account the recent additions of Maurice Chambers and Graeme White, it used up the club’s allocated playing staff budget and this means their hands are tied with regard to future signings.

And more specifically this will affect the Twenty20 part of the season where counties can have two overseas players.

This doesn’t mean a closed door in regard to finding someone to try and match the impact South African Richard Levi had last summer, but Smith thinks it will prove a lot more difficult next year.

He said: “If we want to get a batter in for the Twenty20 then we’ll need outside investment.

“It’s not beyond the club, especially with the year we’ve just had, to find someone who is willing to put some money in and provide assistance but there is some work to be done if that is to happen.

“There would be a different set of costs next year with the competition being played over a longer period of time and with a different scheduling to last season.”

But even though Smith is well aware that the club may have to settle for just one import in their 20-over line-up, he stated that the hierarchy would keep their collective ears to the ground in the next few months.

He added: “There’s plenty of time to get this sorted out and plenty can happen between now and April.

“It was a last minute thing to get (Richard) Levi so there’s no reason why something along those lines can’t happen again.

“If we do want to go down that route we’ll have been having a good look around as there are always good players out there.”