White in for Twenty20 opener as experienced duo miss out

All-rounder James Middlebrook has been left out of the Steelbacks' squad for their Twenty20 opener with Gloucestershire
All-rounder James Middlebrook has been left out of the Steelbacks' squad for their Twenty20 opener with Gloucestershire
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Loan signing Graeme White is in the Northamptonshire squad as they get their Friends Life t20 campaign under way against Gloucestershire this evening.

The Nottinghamshire spinner, who played in the County Championship defeat to Lancashire last week, had joined the club for a pair of four-day fixtures only but his parent club have agreed to extend the deal to cover the Steelbacks’ first three Twenty20 games.

White’s inclusion means that James Middlebrook won’t feature, a decision explained by head coach David Ripley who said: “It wasn’t always the case that Graeme would play Twenty20 for us.

“But Notts have had a look at their team and decided that Graeme isn’t part of it at the minute and if we could give him the cricket then he could stay here.

“It’ll be for the first three games then we’ll have a look at it.

“He’s played a lot of one-day cricket, he brings something different to complement the off-spin in the side and we wanted to have four seamers and two spinners with Steven Crook missing.”

Another absentee is David Sales whose position has been marginalised by the signing of Richard Levi who will make his County debut.

Ripley continued: “If Jumble (Sales) was racking up the runs then there would have been a case to include him but that hasn’t been the case.

“I still think he’s got a lot to offer in our Championship season but with (Richard) Levi coming that means there was one less spot among the batters.”

On the injury front, Crook is absent with a cracked finger and Rob Newton isn’t ready to return as he continues to recover from damaged ankle ligaments.

As for the opposition, Ripley knows that they will be a tough nut to crack.

“They have a bit of a siege mentality, they’re very hard workers who field very well,” he said.

“You get the feeling that they’ll always go down fighting and leave nothing out on the field.

“They qualified from the group last year and not a lot of people would’ve thought they would do that so they’ll provide tough opposition.”

Northants from: Wakely, C White, Levi, Willey, Spriegel, Coetzer, Duckett, Murphy, Daggett, Azharullah, Hall, G White, Keogh.