Ripley not fazed by underdogs tag
The underdog tag is one that David Ripley relishes as Northamptonshire seek to end their 21-year wait for major silverware.
Head coach Ripley’s Steelbacks side make the trip to Edgbaston on Sunday for the Friends Life t20 finals day where they will meet Essex in the first semi-final (11am).
Having won eight of their 11 20-over outings so far this season they are in excellent form but if the bookmakers are to be believed, they won’t be getting their hands on the trophy come Saturday night.
A glance at a number of betting websites will tell you that defending champions Hampshire, justifiably so, are favourites at 13/8, Essex are priced at 11/4, Surrey at 3/1 and bringing up the rear are the Steelbacks at a generous 10/3.
But rather than being annoyed by the turf accountants’ lack of faith, Ripley insists he would rather have it this way.
He said: “I love it being like that.
“At the start of the year, certainly in the County Championship, there weren’t any clubs with longer odds than ourselves.
“I enjoy sharing that kind of information with the team and we’ve used that to give our cricket a bit of extra oomph.
“And despite the cricket we’ve been playing in all competitions, and especially the Twenty20, we’re still classed as the underdogs.”
And while Ripley can understand where the bookies are coming from, he says that none of his charges have a problem with how they are viewed.
He added: “A pundit might look at us compared to the other three sides and see that they’ve got more individual matchwinners than us.
“We’ve had that in every competition this season but we’ve shown on more than one occasion that we’ve got enough of our own players who can win games and whatever our odds, if we perform on the day then we’ve got a very good chance.”