Northants stars ready to shine against Australia

David Ripley (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
David Ripley (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
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While Northants are occasionally in the spotlight for their displays in the shortened formats of the game, it is rare that their red-ball achievements draw much attention.

But this week, the men who have made the club a steady force in division two of the County Championship get the chance to shine.

Australia are heading to the County Ground for a three-day fixture that will lure the national media to Northampton.

And although the Aussies won’t be waltzing in with their typical bravado, having already seen the Ashes slip through their grasp, it remains a match that will hit the headlines.

The Northants players know that if they can perform well from Friday to Sunday, they will get more recognition than usual.

And head coach David Ripley is hoping his men, who smashed Kent by an innings and 23 runs last week, will savour their moment on the big stage.

“Those games are nice, you’re not quite playing at the intensity of Championship cricket in many ways,” Ripley said.

“There’s no points, promotions or relegations at stake but it’ll certainly get a lot of coverage so it’ll be nice for some of the boys to catch the eye and a chance for our lads to get some publicity on the national stage.

“There’s always a lot of interest from the media in the Aussie matches so it’s a good opportunity for us.

“Whoever gets a good amount of runs or some wickets will be getting the headlines.

“I must admit it would have been better if the Ashes were still alive, as them being 2-1 down might have given abit more of an edge to it.

“But England have won the Ashes so we’ll take that and it’s been a great week for the English team.

“They’ll come here having had full on preparation because they’ll certainly want to make sure they end the tour on a high.

“They’ll want to win (the final Test) at the Oval so I’m sure they’ll use our game as good preparation.”