Ripley: Willey’s focus is on Northants, not a transfer

David Willey was in action for Northants in their Royal London One-Day Cup clash with Durham Jets on Saturday (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

David Willey was in action for Northants in their Royal London One-Day Cup clash with Durham Jets on Saturday (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

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David Ripley insists David Willey is fully focused on bringing trophies to Northants amid reports that the England star could move on at the end of this campaign.

One national newspaper suggested that Willey was attracting interest from County Championship Division One sides Yorkshire, Durham and Middlesex.

It was reported that he could be granted early release from his contract, which still has another year to run, if the move represented a step up and Northants were remunerated.

The County are now unlikely to win promotion from division two after falling 64 points behind second-placed Surrey with just five games to go. And that means Willey, who recently starred in a one-day series win and a T20 victory against New Zealand, could look to move on in a bid to further his Test ambitions.

“There’s a marked difference between some of the division one teams and their resources and some of the division two teams,” said Northants head coach Ripley.

“We’re all jockeying to get promotion, it doesn’t happen very often and when it does it’s proven very hard to stay up there.

“There is a difference in quality and in depth and that’s where it comes out mainly, in Championship cricket, because in 16 four-day games you need as much quality and depth in your squad as some of those sides like Yorkshire have.

“We’re about opportunity and developing players. David Willey’s had a good opportunity with Northants, he’s taken it and we’ve been very good for each other.

“He’s under contract for next year and if that changes it won’t be without strong dialogue. At the moment, David really is fired up to help us win one-day trophies. That’s what’s on his mind and this next two weeks are so important.”

And on the subject of a fee - a price tag of £50,000 was mentioned in the national newspaper report - should Willey move on, Ripley said: “It doesn’t happen a lot in cricket, there’s no transfer fee system.

“Most people see out their contracts and then either leave or sign a new contract.

“Sometimes there’s a strong desire for a player to leave for personal reasons, to move close to family or to play a higher level of cricket, but we’re really concentrated on the next two weeks.

“We’ll know more about that (Willey’s future) at the end of the season.

“David’s contracted so there’s no rush on anything really.”