Northants Cricket can confirm that bowler Muhammad Azhar Ullah and all-rounder Steven Crook, will be entering the IPL Auction on 12th and 13th February 2014. The pair will be joined in the IPL auction by Northants Cricket’s 2014 overseas signing Jackson Bird.
All-rounder David Willey has declined the opportunity to enter the auction, so he can concentrate on his fitness for Northants. The IPL is India and the world’s premier domestic T20 competition, and attracts the best players from around the world. Notable names in the auction include Cameron White, Kevin Pietersen and Aaron Finch.
Azhar Ullah had an excellent first season with the club in 2013, finishing as the top wicket taker in the Friends Life t20 with 27 wickets at an average of just 12.6. This led Azhar to being named Northants’ Friends Life t20 Players’ Player of the Year. Crook is a proven match winner with both bat and ball, and will be remembered for his big hitting performances in the middle order against Somerset and Essex Eagles.
Northants Cricket Chief Executive, David Smith said, “We can confirm that Steven Crook and Muhammad Azhar Ullah will enter the IPL auction on the 12th and 13th February, which the club fully supports. David Willey has declined the opportunity to enter the auction, despite lots of interest from the IPL, instead David has decided to focus on his fitness and playing for Northants.
The club is aware and have been for some time that Jackson Bird will also enter the auction. There is a clause in Jackson’s contract, regarding if he is chosen. We as a club recognise the opportunities offered by the IPL and will not stand in the way of the players wanting to take part in the competition, due to the development and financial benefits on offer.”
Northants Cricket Head Coach David Ripley said, “The IPL is firmly established in the international cricket calendar and we fully understand the desire for players to be a part of it. We wish the lads well if selected, and if they are, it will give opportunities for others to start the season well for us.”