Northants very close to sealing deal for second overseas signing

Northants are closing in on a second overseas signing for the 2021 season - and it is set to be an all-rounder who will join the club for the whole summer.

By Jeremy Casey
Friday, 19th February 2021, 10:56 am
Steelbacks' overseas T20 signing Mohammad Nabi in action for Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash last month
Steelbacks' overseas T20 signing Mohammad Nabi in action for Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash last month

The County have already announced their marquee Vitality T20 Blast signing in Afghanistan star Mohammad Nabi, and head coach David Ripley has confirmed a contract has been offered to a second player, who has played international cricket.

Initially, the plan was to have another two signings coming in, with one specifically for the opening eight matches of the County Championship campaign, and then another as back-up to Nabi in the T20.

But Ripley says there has been a rethink on that, and the player they have targeted will be somebody who can play in all three formats of the game - the four-day, the Blast and the Royal London One Day Cup.

Northants head coach David Ripley

Asked about the progress of sealing the deal for another overseas signing, Ripley said: "We are getting a lot closer, and a contract has been offered out to a player.

"We did start the winter looking at somebody for the start of the championship, and then somebody else to come in and back Mohammad Nabi up in the Blast.

"But we are now looking at a cricketer who can come in and play a bit of everything, and be available for everything, including the 50-over competition as well.

"It will be a bit like what we had with Rory Kleinveldt really, a cricketer who will come and can do a bit of everything, but we are not quite there yet, although I am hopeful.

"There is obviously some travel logistics, but the contract has gone out, the terms are agreed and we are just going through the small detail.

"Hopefully we will soon have that done."

The County begin their LV= County Championship campaign on April 8, and play the first eight matches of their 10-match group section, before the 14-match North Group stage of T20 begins in the second week of June.

The Royal London One Day Cup begins on July 25, with the Steelbacks playing eight group games.

Two final two County Championship group matches are played in the midst of the T20 programme, with the final four 'play-off games' scheduled for August and September.

Meanwhile, new Steelbacks signing Nabi is certainly proving to be a cricketer in demand!

The big-hitting off-spinning all-rounder will again be involved in the upcoming IPL after being confirmed in the Sunrisers Hyderabad squad (who he has played for since 2017) for the 2021 tournament which starts in April.

Nabi finished his stint with the Melbourne Renegades in the Australian Big Bash last month, and he has just helped Delhi Bulls to the final of the Abu Dhabi T10, which they lost to Northern Warriors.

The 36-year-old will this week start the Pakistan Super League as part of the Karachi Kings squad. The PSL is being shown on Sky Sports.

After the PSL and IPL, he will join up with the Steelbacks for the Vitality Blast before going on to play for London Spirit in The Hundred, which is launched in July.