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Ripley content with County’s pre-season plans

Northants head coach David Ripley

Northants head coach David Ripley

Northamptonshire head coach David Ripley believes that the pre-season plans put in place are “just about right.”

The County, following their trip to Barbados, will have seven days of cricket in this country before their season opener against Durham on April 13.

A two-day jaunt in Nottingham is followed by two days against Leicestershire - one away and one at home - and the final outing will be a three-day fixture with Yorkshire at the County Ground.

With the domestic season getting under way at such an early stage nowadays, decent or plentiful match practice is often hard to come by but the fact the County start their campaign in the second round of fixtures has afforded them a more generous window than is normally the case.

And Ripley admitted that not only is he happy with the amount of cricket scheduled but that a clarity of purpose will be evident in how his side go about their business.

He said: “We won’t be playing any one-day cricket and it will all be about getting ready for red ball cricket.

“The games against Notts and Leicester will be all about getting people some cricket and we’ll probably use a 60/30-over spolit on each day which allows us to plan properly for who is going to do what.

“The Yorkshire game, as it’s our last one before Durham come here, won’t be a circus with 15 or 16 players involved.

“By then we should know what our line-up is going to be and we’ll try to use it to finalise things.”

A friendly of such a duration is something of a rarity with time often at a premium but Ripley revealed that Yorkshire were more than keen to be involved.

He added: “I had a look at the fixtures and there was only Yorkshire who were without any cricket.

“The others were either playing or involved with university games and when we put the idea to them they didn’t take long to agree as they need the cricket as well.”

On top of their Caribbean fortnight, Ripley feels that the outdoor preparation should be about as good as they can manage and all they need is for Mother Nature to play ball.

Ripley said: “We’ve got our new facilities which we’re looking forward to making use of and as someone who has played, there is nothing like a bit of middle practice to get you ready.

“Hopefully the weather will be good enough to allow us to do that.”

 

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