Ripley glad he didn’t have to try to replace Sales

Northants head coach David Ripley
Northants head coach David Ripley
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David Ripley has admitted that he had started to take a tentative look at potential batting recruits prior to David Sales’ decision to sign a new contract.

The Northamptonshire batsman penned a one-year deal last week which has led the club to turn their recruitment attentions to the acquisition of a left-arm spinner - Nottinghamshire’s Graeme White - and an overseas seamer - an as yet unnamed Australian.

And while head coach Ripley always thought that Sales would commit to his 20th season at the County Ground, despite increasing speculation that his time was up, he had begun to make contingency plans.

He said: “If he (Sales) had not signed then we would’ve had to look elsewhere.

“I’d had a couple of first base meetings with possible alternatives after a little look around but there was nothing that particularly excited me.

“There was one younger lad who I thought could do a good job for us but he wouldn’t have been able to do what David could.”

And Ripley was pleased that plan B or C didn’t have to be put into operation.

He continued: “What we wanted was for David to sign a new contract and stay here and that is what came to fruition.

“It means we won’t have to look at signing any more batters.”

With Sales on board, Rob Keogh agreeing to new terms and Rob Newton expected to be back in the first team fold come April, the County will have plenty of batting options which is a situation that Ripley is content with.

“We’ll have a number of players jostling for position in the middle order which is a good thing for us.

“Alex (Wakely), Rob (Newton) and (Rob) Keogh will all be there and that will give me some decisions to make.

“Add Stephen (Peters) to the mix and Kyle (Coetzer) and we look to be in a healthy position.”