Northants Cricket travel to Cardiff tomorrow ahead of the opening LV= County Championship match of the 2013 season, and after a winter full of change, there is an air of optimism amongst the first team here at the County Ground.
New captain Stephen Peters leads the team for the first time and Steven Crook is set to make his ‘debut’ after re-signing for the County during the winter.
Australian overseas signing Trent Copeland is set to play for the first time for an English County as the seamer is set to arrive from Down Under today.
David Murphy +
Northantscricket.com spoke to head coach David Ripley to get the first squad of the season and gather his thoughts on the team’s visit to Wales.
David said of the trip, “Yeah we are very excited, and we have had some tough selections to make because the squad has been competitive throughout preseason and it’s good that the players have had to fight hard for their places. We are going with the 12 we are taking down, and yes we are leaving some disappointed lads behind, but we can’t wait to get started.”
David then spoke further about competition for places amongst the squad members, “Cricket would suggest you are very lucky to keep the same 11 or 12 guys fit and firing throughout a cricket season - batsmen possibly if everyone stays fit and in form. But certainly bowlers will change, there’s going to be some rotation and we are going to look to keep players fresh - that’s a certainty! Batters, it’s in their hands, the first five have possession of the spots, up to them to keep others off them.”
Finally David spoke about the importance of the first game but stressed he is more concerned about performance levels at this stage of the season.
“It would be nice, but not a must win match as we have 16 games to play. It would be nice to come out of the blocks well, more so to see our hard work rewarded. Lots of people put a lot of hard work in, if we win the game, it will mean we played well and people have performed well. It will be the performance we are interested in, and if we perform well we give ourselves a chance.
Murray Goodwin and Michael Hogan are set to make their Glamorgan debuts having been named in the following 12-man squad:
WD Bragg, BJ Wright, SJ Walters, MJ North, MW Goodwin, J Allenby, MA Wallace (capt and wk), GG Wagg, DA Cosker, MG Hogan, MT Reed and HT Waters.