County get their man as Copeland signs on

Australian Trent Copeland will join Northamptonshire for the first two months of the season
Australian Trent Copeland will join Northamptonshire for the first two months of the season

Northamptonshire’s search for an overseas bowler has ended after the signature of Trent Copeland was secured.

The 26-year-old New South Welshman has agreed to a short-term deal at the County Ground that will incorporate the first seven County Championship and six Yorkshire Bank 40 fixtures.

The signing brings to an end a drawn out saga that saw Copeland initially turn down a contract and South African Rory Kleinveldt having an offer withdrawn after he failed to commit by a given deadline.

But the Australian, who has made three Test appearances for his country and has an excellent first-class record, had a change of heart and will arrive in the country in time for the season opener against Glamorgan in Cardiff.

A potential obstacle was provided in the form of Copeland’s desire to play in the final of the Sydney Grade competition, scheduled for April 5-7, should his St George side make it that far but even if that is the case he will be in the country prior to the Glamorgan game.

And Stephen Peters, who will captain the County in their four-day campaign, is glad to have him on board.

He said: “I’m glad we’ve got it sorted because it was dragging on a bit.

“We wanted Trent all along and even though there were a few problems, all’s well that ends well and I’m pleased that we’ve finally got him.

“It should mean that we’ve now got proper competition for places and as a captain that is how you want it.”

Copeland will arrive with a decent reputation and Peters said that ex-County opener Chris Rogers provided a solid reference.

He added: “I spoke to Chris and he said that Trent is the kind of bowler who will bowl more than his share of overs and hits the right kind of lines and lengths for English conditions.

“I’ve got a lot of respect for what Chris says, and if a player as good as he is gives a glowing reference then it’s worth listening to.”