It's all about Northamptonshire success in 2022 for team player Keogh

"Even if it's a 10 off however many balls, if that contributes to a win or a draw then it is more pleasing for me than scoring a certain amount of runs in the year."

By Jeremy Casey
Monday, 21st March 2022, 5:57 pm
Rob Keogh scored two first-class centuries in the 2021 season
Rob Keogh scored two first-class centuries in the 2021 season

Northamptonshire's Rob Keogh is more or less the definition of a team player.

The 30-year-old is a three-format cricketer who played every single session throughout the 2021 season, whether it be the Championship, Vitality Blast T20 or the Royal London One Day Cup.

The Dunstable-born player is a key cog in the County Ground machine, adding off-spin bowling and sharp fielding to his batting prowess.

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And as he looks ahead to the 2022 season and Northants' return to the top flight of English cricket, he insists the most important thing for him is to contribute in whatever way he can to the team being successful.

Keogh isn't setting any personal targets with the bat, and is just making sure he is able to step up and produce the goods when they are needed as often as he can.

Asked about setting a runs target for the season, he admitted: "I used to do that, and I found it used to eat me up a little bit when I was searching for those targets.

"I try more now to just concentrating on making sure I contribute.

"It is always nice to contribute to wins, and last year I was lucky enough to score two hundreds and a 99.

"The 99 helped us win against Surrey, and one of the hundreds helped us beat Glamorgan, so I do find that contributing to results is more satisfying.

"And that's even if it's a 10 off however many balls, if that contributes to a win or a draw then it is more pleasing for me than scoring a certain amount of runs in the year."

The Northants players returned from their pre-season trip to South Africa at the end of last week, and on Monday were back in work at the County Ground.

The recent dry spell and the fact the sun was shining in Northampton met the squad was able to get outside and practise at Wantage Road ahead of their first pre-season friendly against Leicestershire at Grace Road.

That two-day match starts on Wednesday (March 23) morning, with Northants then playing their first home game of the summer on Monday when they take on Cardiff UCCE in a three-day clash.

They will be the first games in charge for new head coach John Sadler, and the first under the new regime at the County Ground that has also seen Ben Smith join as batting coach, and other new faces as well.

And Keogh admits having new faces around the place is exciting.

"It's always different when you have fresh faces coming in," said Keogh, who has been with the club since graduating from the Academy in 2012.

"We have had Ben Smith come in as batting coach, we have a new physio, Lidds (Chris Liddle) has stepped up to assistant, so there are a lot of new faces from when I first started playing 10 or 11 years ago.

"It is exciting because we have some good young lads that are going to push hard, and hopefully the coaching staff can work with those and keep buliding their games.

"If I can then use some of my experience to help those young lads, then that is only going to be good for the squad.

"It has been a good start for Sadds as coach and everybody is just looking forward to getting that first game under way."

The County begin their LV= Insurance County Championship Division One campaign at home against Gloucestershire on Thursday, April 7.