Northants to relish day-night challenge in Championship

Northants head coach David Ripley (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Northants head coach David Ripley (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

David Ripley says Northants will relish next week’s day-night Specsavers County Championship Division Two clash with Leicestershire.

It will be the first time the County have played a day-night four-day fixture and the innovation, which will see nine Championship matches start at 2pm on Monday, is designed to increase crowds.

It will also be used as a trial for England players to prepare for the day-night Test match against West Indies in August.

And Ripley said: “It’s going to be very different.

“It’s an interesting concept.

“It’s obviously been done around the world.

“I guess in our country with the light nights, I’m not so sure how the lights are going to effect it.

“We’re playing with a different colour ball (a pink Duke ball will be used), we’re playing at night and it’s going to be interesting.

“Hopefully we’ll get a few more people watching and I think corporate wise there has been interest so we’re looking forward to it.”

Northants go into the game with their sights set on the promotion places following four wins from their opening six Championship matches this season.

And head coach Ripley said: “We’ve got two Championship matches before a little break (for the T20 competition) and we’ve always said we wanted to be in the mix for promotion so it’s a chance for us to play well.

“We came out of the blocks quickly and we’ve managed to pick up more wins recently so that’s all we can ask.

“We want to be competitive and try to keep ourselves in the mix for the run-in at the end of the season.

“We’ll have five games in as many weeks towards the end of the season and we want to have something to play for.”