Northants set sights on new overseas player after big Kleinveldt injury blow

Rory Kleinveldt has been ruled out for six weeks (picture: Peter Short)
Rory Kleinveldt has been ruled out for six weeks (picture: Peter Short)
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Northants are now on the hunt for a new overseas player after head coach David Ripley revealed Rory Kleinveldt would be out for six weeks.

The South African star suffered a side strain while blasting 128 from 63 balls at Trent Bridge on Monday and his absence will be a big blow for the Steelbacks.

Seekkuge Prasanna will also be missing during the next few weeks, as he has been called up by Sri Lanka for the one-day series against England.

Prasanna will miss five NatWest T20 Blast matches, which leaves Northants short of an overseas ace, and Ripley will now look to recruit one during the next week.

“Rory is a massive player for us, especially around this time of year with all the white-ball cricket,” said Ripley after the Steelbacks’ three-wicket T20 defeat at Worcestershire Rapids on Friday night.

“Anyone who was at Trent Bridge to see him or here at New Road last year will know he’s impossible to replace really.

“He gives you a bit of threat with the new ball as well, and he’s got his death overs, so he’s a big character and we’re going to miss him.

“Others have got to try to step up to the plate and we are trying to find someone who might be able to come in as another overseas player on a short-term basis to help us out.

“We were trying to get someone to replace Seekkuge while he was away, but it was difficult because it’s a short period and there were visa problems.

“That venture didn’t go very well, but now Rory is out for six weeks we’ve got a week to find someone and we get a good four or five weeks out of them.

“It’s just about trying to find that right person.”

Olly Stone is definitely out for the season after suffering an ACL injury against Worcestershire last week, but there is better news on Richard Levi, who picked up a shoulder problem in the defeat at Nottinghamshire on Monday.

“Richard should be back for the Leicestershire T20 game (on June 26),” Ripley said.

“Unfortunately he’ll miss the back-to-back T20 games next week, but we’ve got to plough on and there’s some really good signs from Rob Keogh and Graeme White down the order.

“We’re confident we’ve got lads who can still win some games for us.”

On the Steelbacks’ defeat at New Road, Ripley said: “I think it’s just one of those games with fine margins.

“It is T20 cricket – and the Duckworth-Lewis was a good gauge.

“One minute we were ahead, then they’re ahead and all of a sudden it was 30 wanted off three overs and I thought we were ahead.

“Keogh’s catch (to dismiss Kohler-Cadmore) looked like it might swing it our way but some pretty fine cricket shots from Ben Cox gave Worcester the win.”