Duckett in line for first-class bow

Ben Duckett (left) and Matt Spriegel will make their four-day debuts for Northamptonshire this week
Ben Duckett (left) and Matt Spriegel will make their four-day debuts for Northamptonshire this week

Ben Duckett will make his first-class debut when Northamptonshire entertain neighbours Leicestershire in the County Championship from tomorrow (Wednesday).

The 18-year-old replaces David Murphy, who is on international duty with Scotland, behind the stumps for the clash which will see the home side attempt to stay on top of the Division Two standings.

Kyle Coetzer is also away with the Scots so Matt Spriegel will make his four-day debut for the club and open the batting with Stephen Peters.

And the captain is confident they will slot easily into a side that has been in excellent form in the longest format.

He said: “Spriegs (Spriegel) has been doing well in the seconds and pushing hard for a place and this will be a deserved chance for him.

“It’s a good opportunity for Ben to show his skills, his wicket-keeping has been excellent in the one-day games he’s played and hopefully he can continue that.”

The Foxes have only won once at the County Ground - a ten-wicket triumph in September, 2010 - since 1975 and the hosts will be heavy favourites to extend that miserable run although Peters won’t be taking much for granted.

He continued: “They are quite a young side but are reasonably experienced in certain areas.

“Niall (O’Brien) will obviously try to get stuck in against his old team and (Ramnaresh) Sarwan is a quality Test player so it’s hardly going to be easy.

“But we should be confident given the way we’ve been playing and if we pitch up with the same attitude then we should be alright.”

Spriegel and Duckett’s inclusion will be the only changes to a line-up that will include Rob Newton in the middle order.

Newton was forced to miss the two Yorkshire Bank 40 outings due to a groin injury picked up in the last Championship game in Kent but he has been declared fit and will take his place at number five.

Northants: Peters, Spriegel, Sales, Wakely, Newton, Hall, Duckett, Middlebrook, Willey, Crook, Copeland.