Trio put pen to paper at Northants

Ben Cotton is now contracted to the County (picture: Dave Ikin)
Ben Cotton is now contracted to the County (picture: Dave Ikin)

Pace bowler Ben Cotton has signed a one-year deal at Northants.

The 25-year-old, who spent four years on Derbyshire’s books, impressed in County colours this season.

He claimed first-class-best figures of five for 48 in the Specsavers County Championship Division Two victory over Sussex at the County Ground last month.

“There’s no doubt Ben is very hungry for another opportunity in the county game,” said head coach David Ripley.

“He showed his quality in the three first-team matches he played for us after having a fine season in the Second XI – as a skilful seam bowler, useful lower-order batsman, slip catcher and captain on occasions.

“He’ll be spending the early part of the UK winter working on his fitness before getting stuck in with us in January.”

Born in Stoke-on-Trent, Cotton marked his maiden first-team outing for Derbyshire with the wicket of Jos Buttler in a T20 match at Old Trafford in 2014.

He claimed 37 wickets in 20 first-class games for them before being released ahead of the 2018 season – paving the way for his move to Northants on what turned out to be a successful trial.

Ripley has also moved to hand deals to Tom Sole and Charlie Thurston, who are both 22 years old.

Sole has signed a two-year deal, with Thurston penning a one-year summer contract.

Sole made his ODI debut for Scotland earlier this year after making a successful appearance for Northants against the touring South Africans in 2017, scoring 54 off just 43 balls.

He also turned out for the Steelbacks in this summer’s Vitality Blast competition following a lengthy lay-off through injury.

“Obviously Tom’s season was ravaged by his ankle problem, but we see him as a very strong white-ball cricketer capable of starting the campaign in both the 50-over and T20 formats next year,” said Ripley.

“He’s also keen to improve his red-ball cricket in order to push the players currently ahead of him in the pecking order.”

Thurston, like Alastair Cook a product of Bedford School, made his first-class debut for Loughborough MCCU in 2016 and this summer represented Northants in all three major competitions, including the late-season matches against Derbyshire and Sussex.

“Charlie had a very strong white-ball season in our Second XI which earned him some first-team opportunities,” said Ripley.

“It was great to see him finish his red-ball season with a double-hundred for the seconds against Scotland A.

"He will be spending his winter working on his game in New Zealand, and we look forward to catching up with him again in pre-season.”