Ripley optimistic of swift end to overseas frustration

Head coach David Ripley has had to do some head-scratching over Northamptonshire's overseas player problems
Head coach David Ripley has had to do some head-scratching over Northamptonshire's overseas player problems

David Ripley hopes to have another overseas signing in place by the time the NatWest t20 Blast kicks off next week.

The Northamptonshire head coach has, for various reasons, already been let down on three foreign signings - Jackson Bird, Rory Kleinveldt and Sohail Tanvir - but believes he will have a new name to announce in the next few days.

And he is also optimistic the County’s ranks will be bolstered for the County Championship run-in with another overseas deal nearly done.

“We’re hoping we’ll have someone in by Friday night,” Ripley said.

“It will only be a short-term thing between now and the end of the T20.

“But hopefully it will be a done deal fairly quickly.

“We’ve already got Richard Levi for the white-ball cricket and another signing will mean we have that added bit of strength.

“We’ve also got something quite live to bring a player in for the last five games of the season.

“The player is keen to come and we’ve got the green light from his country for him to come to us so we can hopefully get that sorted soon as well.”

It has been a tough start for Northamptonshire as they adjust to life in Division One.

The games have been hard but the side have also been hampered by injuries and overseas signings withdrawing.

And Ripley admits the latter has been the toughest for him to deal with.

He explained: “Injuries are part and parcel and you just dust yourself down and get on with it.

“Sorting out the overseas has been very tough if I’m honest.

“That’s been the biggest frustration so far.

“We’ve got money in the budget for it and we’ve spent a lot of time trying to get it sorted.

“Every time we think it is done, it has broken down again which means it is dragging on unfortunately.

“The big problem now is the pool of players to choose from is much smaller.

“When we first signed Jackson Bird there were quite a few players available.

“But now, with the IPL going on and most countries in action again, the options are more limited.

“It’s been quite consuming in terms of time and is a problem we could have done without.

“But hopefully we are now close to getting it resolved and we’ll have another player in place to help us through this period coming up.”