Aussie Kelly eager to learn 'new tricks' from Northants' bowling 'geniuses'

Australian pace bowler Matt Kelly can’t wait to spend the next five weeks learning from the bowling ‘geniuses’ at Northamptonshire.

Bowler Matt Kelly is keen to learn from the likes of Ben Sanderson and Gareth Berg during his time at Northants
Bowler Matt Kelly is keen to learn from the likes of Ben Sanderson and Gareth Berg during his time at Northants

The 27-year-old landed in the UK from his Western Australia home last week, and enjoyed his first full training session with his new team-mates on Tuesday, the seamer gearing up to make his Northamptonshire debut against Yorkshire in the LV= Insurance County Championship on Thursday (April 21).

Kelly is scheduled to play in the next five matches for Northants as he gets set to experience first-class cricket away from his native Australia for the very first time.

He is keen to perform and make a real impression with the ball, but he admits he is also in England to learn and ‘pick up some new tricks’ from the likes of Ben Sanderson, Gareth Berg and the other experienced County campaigners.

Matt Kelly celebrates Western Australia's Sheffield Shield Final win earlier this month with Jhye Richardson

"I am very impressed with the squad here, there are some very good young players and obviously some really talented bowlers as well,” said Kelly.

"They have been playing the game for a long time, so I am looking forward to chatting to those guys.

"They have already been brilliant, and just watching them they are geniuses! If I can do half of that then I’ll be stoked.

"That is the beauty of cricket, we can travel around the world and play everywhere, meet some great people and learn as much as possible.

"That is one of the main reasons for me coming over here, that hopefully I can take a lot back from playing in English conditions, and watching what these guys do because they are masters of their craft.

"It is really good to watch, so hopefully I can learn a few things, pick up a few tricks, and take them back to Aus.”

Kelly is also looking forward to his first experience of playing at the County Ground when the White Rose come to town this week.

"It is nice to start at home, in front of the home fans and play at the home ground,” said Kelly.

"Yorkshire are a strong county, but there are a lot of strong teams and a lot of good players we are going to come up against.

"I am just looking forward to getting out there with everyone. The boys played really well in the first game (drawing against Gloucestershire), and I know they are pumped to get out there as well.”

Aside from his cricketing ability, if there is one other thing that Kelly is definitely going to bring to Wantage Road, and that is a winning mentality.

He has arrived in the United Kingdom off the back of a summer of silverware success back home, as he was part of the Western Australia team that clinched the domestic double.

As well as WA winning the prestigious first-class competition, the Sheffield Shield, seeing off Victoria in the five-day final in Perth, they were also victorious in the nation’s 50-over competition, the Marsh One Day Cup.

"It was a great year for Western Australia, a lot of fun,” said Kelly.

"I think cricket, when you are winning, is good fun isn't it? Well it's good fun all the time, but when you are winning it is a bonus.

"We have a really strong squad at WA, everybody is at that age now where they are playing really good cricket, pushing up to higher levels and playing cricket around the world.

"We are in a nice space, and hopefully I can bring some of that momentum over here to Northants."

Kelly is pencilled in to play for Northants until the end of May and is keen to make an impression, but says as long as the team is winning, he’ll be happy.

"You always just want to do well, and I don't really have any personal targets at this stage,” he said. "For me it is all about whether the team is winning or not, and whether I take wickets or score runs it doesn't really matter.

"It is more about the team, and if we can a win a few of these games coming up I will be a happy man."