Ripley not averse to widening Levi’s role

Richard Levi made a fluent 64 in Northants' first innings
Richard Levi made a fluent 64 in Northants' first innings

Northamptonshire head coach David Ripley says that there is a possibility Richard Levi could play County Championship cricket for the club.

The South African struck a fluent 64 in the County’s response to Sri Lanka’s 558-8 on day two of the four-day fixture and with the batting troubles that have plagued the side this season, his inclusion in future weeks would seem a logical fit.

His contract is for all limited overs games until the end of the Royal London Cup tournament so he isn’t going home anytime soon and Ripley isn’t ruling any kind of promotion out.

He said: “We had a view that it might be one for the longer term but short-term that wasn’t necessarily our aim.

“We didn’t know where we were with overseas players and we hoped we’d have bowlers.

“As it stands, if Ian Butler is unfit or rested for a Championship game then Richard could come in.

“It’s not in his contract so it’s not entirely straightforward but it’s definitely a possibility.”

As for his innings today, Ripley liked what he saw and he added: “I thought he played really well.

“He has a very fine first-class batting average in South Africa and his main challenge ahead is to play when the ball is nipping about, but that’s the same for most guys.

“We talked about this game in the winter, about Richard showing his skills in the four-day game and I’m delighted to see him play so well.

“What did please me was the way he hit the ball through the off-side.

“In one-day cricket he sometimes reverts to hitting towards the leg-side but today he struck it really nicely through the covers which was good to see.”