Kleinveldt ready to roar in County’s T20 title defence

Rory Kleinveldt is a key man for the Steelbacks (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Rory Kleinveldt is a key man for the Steelbacks (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Rory Kleinveldt has reached the final of the NatWest T20 Blast in both of his two seasons at Northants.

And that is no coincidence.

The big South African all-rounder has an abundance of power with the bat and real prowess with the ball.

All in all, Kleinveldt is one of the most important members of a talented squad of players at the County Ground.

And the 34-year-old will look to help his side defend the T20 crown they claimed at Edgbaston this summer when the new campaign begins at home to Derbyshire this evening (6.30pm).

“I’m pretty excited.

“Obviously we’re the defending champions and everyone’s going to be after us so it’s going to be tough. But I feel like we’ve got the squad that can go back to back.”

Kleinvedlt helped to tear through Birmingham Bears in the 2015 semi-final at Edgbaston before Lancashire eventually edged out the Steelbacks in the showpiece.

But Northants bounced back in style, beating Nottinghamshire and Durham on finals day to secure the silverware last year.

So just why are the Steelbacks so good at the 20-over competition?

“Everyone understands their roles in the team and we are capable of executing our plans,” said Kleinveldt, who took 15 wickets in 10 T20 appearances in 2016.

“We’ll be hoping for much of the same this time.”

And cool customer Kleinveldt is confident the County can handle the pressure that being holders brings.

“Defending champions always comes with the kind of tag where people are going to want to beat you,” he said.

“But we’ve been in three finals in the last four years.

“Teams have been aware of us during the past few years and we’ve come good so hopefully we can do much of the same this year.”