Wakely’s forced out of Canterbury encounter

Alex Wakely
Alex Wakely

ALEX WAKELY and Chaminda Vaas have both been ruled out of Northamptonshire’s County Championship clash with Kent in Canterbury which gets under way today.

Vaas was expected to miss the game after pulling up with a hip injury during last week’s outing at Leicester but Wakely’s problem – a grade one tear of his thigh muscle – is a fresh one and could see him miss the next couple of weeks although head coach David Capel was keen to stress that no time period has been put on his absence.

And Capel insisted neither player will be rushed back into action.

He said: “Both of them will miss this week and we’ll have to look after the game to see whether they’re able to play in the one-day game on Sunday.

“Alex has a grade one tear and that can be an injury that takes a while in the older players but as he is a bit younger he might heal that bit quicker.

“He’ll have physio all this week and we’ll have a look at the end of the week. It’s likely that the Championship game next week could be the earliest he could return.

“Chaminda had a 30-minute bowl yesterday but he wasn’t happy with it and he didn’t want to put the team in any difficulty.

“As with Alex, we’ll have a look later in the week and go from there.

“The last thing we want to do is make the injuries worse and lose them for a few more matches.”

Despite the double blow, Capel feels that his side will have all the bases covered for the return encounter with a side that recorded an emphatic innings victory at the County ground last month.

He added: “We’ve got enough strength in our batting that we might go down the path of playing two spinners.

“Andrew (Hall) could play as a number five batsman in any county side and the likes of Niall (O’Brien), Midders (James Middlebrook) and David (Willey) mean that we should be able to put enough runs on the board.

“That would mean three seamers and two spinners before we even take into account Hally’s bowling.

“It’s about taking 20 wickets and I’m happy that we’ll have the right balance if Con (de Lange) plays alongside Midders.”

That decision will be left until the conditions at Canterbury are assessed prior to the game.

Capel said: “We’ve had a bit of information through about the pitch but we’ll have to wait and see for ourselves.

“Whichever way we go, we’ll put out a side who are capable of winning the game.”

The only other change will see Jack Brooks come back into the side following his outing with England Lions.

Christian Davis has travelled with the squad but he is likely to do 12th man duties.