Fast bowler Matt Kelly fulfils big ambition as he signs for Northamptonshire

Fast bowler Matt Kelly says he fulfilling 'a time held ambition' after signing for Northamptonshire for the start of the 2022 season.

New Northants signing Matt Kelly
New Northants signing Matt Kelly

The 27-year-old was unveiled as the County's newest recruit on Thursday lunchtime, with the Western Australia seamer agreeing to a short-term deal at Wantage Road.

Kelly will be with the squad prior to the campaign starting with a home date against Gloucestershire on April 7, and will available for selection for the next five red ball games through until the home date against Kent at the end of May.

Aside from a brief stint in the IPL with Kolkata Riders in 2019, Kelly has played his whole professional career in Australia for Western Australia and Perth Scorchers, and says he can't wait to try his luck in the UK with Northants.

“It has been a long time held ambition of mine to play county cricket.” said Kelly, who was born in Claremont, WA.

“I’m delighted to be given that opportunity by Northamptonshire and can’t wait to test myself in different conditions against Division One line-ups.

“I’ve heard really good things about the squad and set up in general and I’m looking forward to getting started.”

Kelly made his debut for Western Australia in the 2017/18 season, and has gone on to make 35 first-class appearances, claiming 105 wickets at 29.81 apiece.

His economy rate in red ball cricket is 2.85 runs per over, and his strike rate is a wicket every 62.6 balls.

He has best innings figures of six for 67, and best match bowling figures of eight for 96.

Kelly is also no mug with the bat in hand.

He has a highest first-class score of 89, averaging 16.05 having acculumated 578 runs in 47 innings.

Kelly has also been a regular white ball cricketer in his homeland, turning out for the Perch Scorchers, and has a decent record in the 50-over and 20-over forms of the game as well.

Kelly has yet to represent Australia at senior level, but did play for his country's under-19s team.

Kelly becomes the County's third overseas signing of the summer, with Kiwis Will Young and Jimmy Neesham already snapped up for stints in the Championship and Vitality T20 Blast campaigns respectively.