Zaib targeting success with Northamptonshire after penning new deal

Saif Zaib believes he has 'plenty more left in the tank' and plenty more to achieve after putting pen to paper on a new deal to stay at the County Ground until the end of 2023.

Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 2:34 pm
Saif Zaib has signed a new deal at Northamptonshire

The 23-year-old feels the 2021 summer was something of a breakthrough season for him, as he was a regular in the first team in all formats.

Indeed, Zaib missed just one first team fixture throughout the campaign, scoring just shy of 850 runs in all competitions.

Although he struggled slightly and the runs dried up towards the end of a long campaign, Zaib was a reliable performer in the Championship, hitting his maiden first-class century against Sussex in May.

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Saif Zaib was a regular in the Royal London One Day Cup

He also managed three half-centuries, and is looking forward to 'making his mark' in the LV= County Championship Division One next summer after it was confirmed Northamptonshire will be in the top division.

“I really want to make an impact on the four day stuff in the coming year," said Zaib.

"This year was a nice start, but I feel like there’s plenty more left in the tank in red ball.

"I want to keep contributing and win some silverware.

Saif Zaib was an ever-present in the Steelbacks' Vitlality T20 Blast campaign

"Being in division one is a massive boost and I just really want to make my mark for Northamptonshire, that’s the aim.”

Despite being at the club since he was a young teenager, making his first team debut as a 15-year-old in 2014, it wasn't until last summer that he really established himself as a first-team regular.

And he believes he thrived on the extra responsibility.

Looking back on the 2021 summer, he added: "It was a really pleasing year for me personally, I wasn’t actually expecting to be playing that much if I’m honest

Saif Zaib scored his maiden first-class century in May

“So to be contributing as much as I did was really pleasing, you always want to add a little bit more but that’s something to work on for next season.”

Zaib believes a more defined role in the team had helped improve his game, and he insists he sees himself as an all-format player.

“It was nice to have a set plan and a set role to focus on," he said.

"This year in the white ball stuff we talked about that finisher role at the end of the innings.

“But I don’t think of myself as a white ball specialist, I think I’ve got the ability to make runs in the longer form too.”