One-day recruiting will not harm four-day ambitions

Exciting performers, as Cameron White was last season, and a winning one-day team will attract spectators to the County Ground
Exciting performers, as Cameron White was last season, and a winning one-day team will attract spectators to the County Ground

Getting the balance right to be competitive in all forms of the game is the aim for Northamptonshire as they seek to complete their player recruitment.

Much of the talk coming from the County Ground since last season finished has been about being more of a force in the shorter formats of the game.

Matt Spriegel – someone who featured almost entirely in one-day cricket for his old club Surrey – has already been brought in while the club has stated its other potential targets are ‘multi-dimensional’ cricketers.

There is no doubt that the County’s form in white ball cricket has been abysmal in recent seasons and a desire to improve that is paramount.

However, chief executive David Smith insists this will not be done to the detriment of their four-day ambitions.

“We are trying to put a squad together that will be competitive in all forms,” he said.

“In the past promotion in the County Championship has been a priority – and rightly so.

“But winning something like three out of 40 one-day games is just good enough and we have to do something to address that.

“The reason we are concentrating more on one-day players is because I don’t think we are a million miles off in the Championship.

“Yes, we finished second from bottom and, yes, the table doesn’t tell any lies.

“But three more wickets over a couple of games against Leicestershire along with losing a couple of matches which we would have approached differently in other circumstances and we would have finished much higher.

“I don’t see it being a massive revolution to get better in the four-day game.

“However, we were a long way off in white ball cricket and we need to do something to sort that out.

“We need to change our approach to the game because we have been left behind a little bit.

“We want to make some good signings so, when the one-day stuff starts next year, we can hit the ground running.

“The key is not to do that at the expense of red ball cricket. There has to be a sensible balance but it is too far one way at the moment.”

And Smith is certain that if the right players are playing the right kind of cricket then it can bring the club success on and off the field.

He added: “If we are successful in T20 cricket then we will be well supported.

“We have seen that when we get a good night here there is a desire to support the club.

“When we get it right the people of Northamptonshire want to come here.

“Hopefully next year the schedule will be more favourable and we won’t have three games in six days.

“If that is the case, with a good team out there, I know we will be busy.”