Northants set sights on another T20 signing

Northants head coach David Ripley says a T20 batting signing is 'the last piece of our jigsaw'.
David Ripley is eyeing a batting signing for the T20 tournamentDavid Ripley is eyeing a batting signing for the T20 tournament
David Ripley is eyeing a batting signing for the T20 tournament

The County have already drafted in Pakistan all-rounder Faheem Ashraf for the entire Vitality Blast T20 competition.

But they are still targeting one more signing in a bid to bolster their batting for the competition.

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"A T20 batter is the last piece of our jigsaw really," Ripley said.

"We hope to have some news on that in the next week or so.

"We've had quite a lot of different conversations with people over some time but we haven't been able to get anyone across the finish line with them committing early enough.

"It seems like when you've got more money to spend, often it's harder to spend it because the players are looking for a bit more choice.

"You go to your global tournament players and they're waiting to see what else happens.

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"It's been slightly frustrating that we haven't managed to get anyone up to now, but we've got a couple of guys in the pipeline and hopefully we can announce one shortly."

Northants start their Specsavers County Championship Division Two campaign at home to Middlesex on Friday.

Brett Hutton will definitely be missing due to a calf tear, but Alex Wakely is expected to shrug off a hip injury in time to skipper the side.

"We're very happy with the overall squad and we've got to pick a side for Friday, which looks a tough one to pick," said Ripley, who will have West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder available for the opening two Championship matches.

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"You want a competitive squad where places are not a given, and I think we have that.

"I'm particularly pleased with our overseas players, and the fact they're all playing international cricket is a great plus for us.

"We hope we can be competitive on all fronts because we've got white-ball cricketers and it wasn't long ago we won nine Championship matches in a season with a fairly similar group.

"We do need a bit of luck with injuries because our squad is the smallest compared to others.

"If we can make sure our key players avoid injury we think we can be competitive."