Willey return provides a boost for Peters

David Willey bowled for the first time in a senior game this season against Sri Lanka
David Willey bowled for the first time in a senior game this season against Sri Lanka

Northamptonshire captain Stephen Peters says that a decision will have to be made on David Willey’s availability for the next County Championship game.

The all-rounder made his return to bowling in the tour game against Sri Lanka following a lengthy absence with a back injury but that doesn’t automatically mean he will walk straight back into the County’s four-day side.

Peters said: “We’re building it up slowly, as we’ve got to do, but he ran in well and that’s a big boost for us.

“We’ll have a sit down with the medical staff after this game and see whether or not he’ll be available for the Warwickshire game next week.

“Obviously he’d have to be able to bowl 30 or 40 overs in a game and that might be too much straight away, we’ll have to see.”

But even if the Warwickshire fixture, which starts next Sunday (June 15) comes too soon for Willey, Peters is glad that he’s back doing what he’s paid to do.

“I’m delighted that he’s back,” he continued.

“It’s been tough for him as it’s taken a lot longer than anyone would’ve thought to gee back but that’s the way it goes.

“He bowled really well considering that was the first bowl he’s had in the middle since last September.”

Of all the absentees this year, Willey, with the variation he brings to the table, has left the biggest hole and Peters acknowledged that by adding: “Left-arm seamers are worth their weight in gold if they’re good, which he is, and we’ve missed that variety in our attack.

“He’s a brilliant fielder in the ring and he’s capable of getting us out of a tight spot with the way he bats.

“We’ve missed him hugely, he was an integral part of our success last season, and I’m glad he’s back bowling again.”