Stirling set for Steelbacks debut as Ripley names squad for Gloucestershire T20 Blast opener

Head coach David Ripley has named a 15-man squad for the Steelbacks' opening Vitality T20 Blast clash of the summer at Gloucestershire on Thursday (2pm start).

Wednesday, 26th August 2020, 6:20 pm
Updated Wednesday, 26th August 2020, 6:24 pm
Ireland international Paul Stirling is in line to make his Northants Steelbacks debut on Thursday

Overseas import Paul Stirling is in the squad and is set to make his Steelbacks debut, while there are also places for the County's other big-hitting batting stars in the shape of skipper Josh Cobb, Richard Levi, Adam Rossington and Alex Wakely.

Also included and hoping for a first start for the club in white ball cricket is pace bowler Brandon Glover, while youngsters Tom Sole and Saif Zaib will also travel to the west country.

Northants head to Bristol for the opening match of Central group campaign, which sees them alongside Gloucestershire, Worcestershire Rapids, Birmingham Bears, Somerset Sabres and Glamorgan.

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The players trained at the County Ground on Wednesday before travelling, and assistant coach John Sadler says the squad is in good shape.

“We’re all very excited to get going. We’ve had a mixed four-day season so far so to now focus all of our energy on the T20 is really exciting.” Sadler told nccc.co.uk

“We’ve got some players who are geared up to fare well in T20 cricket, the squad we’ve got to attack that competition is really strong, we’ve got all bases covered and some good prep time in, considering the tightness of the schedule.

“We’re in a really good place, the lads are really looking forward to getting going. Josh Cobb is a really good thinker of the game, so he’s been putting a lot of time in behind the scenes in preparation, the lads know their roles so we are all good to go.”

Sadler is also excited by the addition of hard-hitting Stirling, and said: “We’ve a very very experienced cricketer in Paul, explosive with the bat and he’s a match winner.

“His experience and presence around the group is going to be vital as well and being able to tap into his knowledge of the game will be crucial. Another department of the team gets stronger with him coming in, he’s a brilliant acquisition.”

Steelbacks squad: Josh Cobb (captain), Gareth Berg, Nathan Buck, Brandon Glover, Rob Keogh, Richard Levi, Blessing Muzarabani, Adam Rossington, Ben Sanderson, Tom Sole, Paul Stirling, Ricardo Vasconcelos, Alex Wakely, Graeme White, Saif Zaib