A wicket-keeper batsman, Rickelton made his Test debut as a batter only at the end of March when he played for the Proteas against Bangladesh in Durban, and he also played in the second Test of that series.
The left-hander made scores of 42 and 39 batting the middle order as South Africa won the series 2-0, and will be hoping to keep his place in the squad as the Proteas are touring England later this summer, with the first Test starting on August 17.
“It’s really exciting and a great opportunity to be joining Northamptonshire.” said Rickelton, who plays as a top order batter for imperial Lions in his homeland.
“I have always wanted to play county cricket and to be part of such a well-rounded, strong group is brilliant and I look forward to hopefully contributing to the side’s success in the County Championship.”
Rickelton has scored a total of 10 first-class centuries in his career and amassed nearly 3,000 runs in red ball cricket at an impressive average of 50.38.
He has a career-best score of 202 not out.
Having represented South Africa at Under 19 level he made his test debut against Bangladesh in March, getting off the mark with a reverse sweep! He has also represented South Africa A in 50-over and T20 cricket.
"We’ve known each other since we were little so I’m looking forward to hopefully getting to bat together for Northamptonshire.
“He’s a really positive batsman, he plays his shots and has scored a lot of runs in the last couple of years.
"He got off the mark in test cricket with a reverse sweep I think, so that tells you a bit about him.”
Rickelton arrives in Northamptonshire this week and is available for selection in the fixture against Warwickshire at the County Ground beginning this Sunday, as well as the clash against Kent at Canterbury that starts on July 11.
Northants will still be without Will Young for the Warwickshire game, as he is playing for New Zealand in the the third Test against England at Headingley.
Young is due to return for Northants in the match at Kent.