Skipper Wakely salutes Steelbacks boss Ripley after T20 triumph

David Ripley steered the Steelbacks to T20 glory for the second time in four seasons (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

David Ripley steered the Steelbacks to T20 glory for the second time in four seasons (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

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Steelbacks skipper Alex Wakely has hailed head coach David Ripley for the job he has done at the County Ground.

Ripley steered Northants to a second Twenty20 triumph in just four years as they secured NatWest T20 Blast glory at Edgbaston last Saturday.

The Steelbacks beat Nottinghamshire Outlaws in the semi-finals before seeing off Durham Jets in the showpiece.

It was a stunning achievement, especially considering the size of the budget at Northants, who have limited resources but a squad full of talent.

And Wakely believes the continuity that Ripley has instilled was key to this season’s white-ball success.

“You’ve got to give David Ripley a lot of credit,” the captain said. “There’s a lot of thought taken into when we sign players. Seekkuge Prasanna, for instance - I’d rather have him for the whole year rather than go and sign someone on big money for four or five games.

“The continuity helps.

“If you look around, one of the reasons why we’ve been successful is that over the past few years, we’ve managed to play pretty much the same side throughout the competition.

“If you look at Notts, they’ve chopped and changed their side and sometimes that doesn’t always work.

“It’s a massive advantage that other teams brought players in for finals day.

“Greg Smith was one of the best players for Notts all year and then he’s not playing. I don’t agree with that, but it is the way it is.

“You’ve got some international players and they’re going to come back and play, but we don’t have that problem and that’s a massive reason why we’ve come here and done what we’ve done.”