In-form Berg has the 'burning fire' to keep playing for Northants

Gareth Berg says he still has 'that burning fire' to keep playing cricket and is keen to extend his career with Northants.

By Jeremy Casey
Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 11:33 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 11:34 am
Gareth Berg celebrates a wicket in the win over Glamorgan at the County Ground last month
Gareth Berg celebrates a wicket in the win over Glamorgan at the County Ground last month

Fresh from career-best match bowling figures in the recent win over Sussex, the 40-year-old former Hampshire player believes he still has plenty of 'time in the game', although he admits he may in the future focus on red ball cricket.

County head coach David Ripley has already gone on record to say he is open to the club offering the player a new deal to stay beyond the end of the current campaign, and that is something that would certainly suit Berg.

"Hopefully I have shown out there on the pitch the desire I have, and the burning sensation inside of me," said the South African born all-rounder, who has also played for Middlesex.

Sign up to our daily Daventry Express Today newsletter

Gareth Berg makes a big appeal for a wicket

"I have still got that burning fire inside my belly to be proving to people what I can do, improving my personal stats and contributing to team wins.

"We will see where things end up, but certainly I feel I still have time in the game.

"Whether that is cutting one or two formats out and focusing on one thing, especially red ball cricket, we will see where we are at."

Berg originally joined Northants on loan from Hampshire at the back end of the 2019 season, before putting pen to paper on a two-year deal the following winter.

Gareth Berg is enjoying his time at Northants

His first year as a County player was a frustrating one as the Covid-19 pandemic severely disrupted the cricketing calendar, meaning Berg was restricted to a handful of appearances in the Bob Willis Trophy and Vitality T20 Blast.

This summer though things couldn't have gone much better, with Berg having taken 19 wickets so far in four LV= Insurance County Championship Group 3 appearances, including that outstanding nine for 90 in the innings and 120-run win over Sussex.

"That was fantastic," he said. "I got to the seven-wicket mark in the match and I knew that was my previous best, so anything after that would have been a great bonus for me.

"It would have been nice to have got the 10-for, but I have always been a team man and to just get off the field with the win was fantastic for us."

And looking back on his Wantage Road career to date, Berg added: "Last year was a tough one for me, in terms of the Covid and being in and out and playing two or three games or whatever.

"I wouldn't say I wanted to prove myself to my new club, because hopefully they know who I am and what I am about, but it is always nice still to get that recognition from your team-mates.

"This year has been good, and it has taken me 16 months of hard work.

"Two winters ago I was working on different things with my bowling, changing things, and always learning to adapt and I wanted to better my game.

"No matter what age you are, if you are not in that position as a cricketer then there is no point in playing the game if you are not willing to keep learning.

"So I am seeing the fruits of that hard work 16 months ago at the moment, which is great."