It’s ‘absolute nonsense’ to suggest Northants don’t care about Championship matches, says Ripley

David Ripley says the Northants players are hurting after their defeat to Worcestershire (picture: Peter Short)
David Ripley says the Northants players are hurting after their defeat to Worcestershire (picture: Peter Short)

David Ripley says the Northants players are hurting after this week’s humbling defeat to Worcestershire.

And the head coach insists suggestions that the County don’t care about Championship cricket are ‘absolute nonsense’.

Northants were thrashed by 311 runs on home soil this week, with their County Championship Division Two clash completed inside three days.

It was a sobering experience that brought some anger from the club’s members, some of whom booed their team off.

It was tough to take for Northants, who were bowled out for 148 in the first innings and just 142 in the second.

And Ripley said: “We can’t make excuses for how poorly we played in that game and in our other Championship defeat, against Essex.

“But it does hurt everybody and what does frustrate me is hearing that we don’t care about four-day cricket. That’s absolute nonsense.

“There’s quite a few of us who had a taste of division one (in 2014) and it was brilliant to get promotion and get the chance to slug it out against the bigger counties.

“It came to a pretty abrupt end because of various reasons - one of them that we didn’t play well but another that we didn’t get much luck with injuries that year.

“We feel like we didn’t really get a fair crack at it so we want to get back and do it again.

“There’s a lot of determination from the players to play some good Championship cricket but, up to now, we’ve been very inconsistent.”

Ripley has revealed that he and his players have held plenty of meetings in a bid to sort out their Championship form, which has seen them fail to win any of their 10 matches in the four-day format this season.

And on the woe inflicted by Worcestershire, he said: “It was very disappointing. Our performance was poor from a position of them being 50 for five on the first day. To lose by the amount we lost by was a bit of a disaster. It’s not good.

“We’ve had a couple of meetings about our Championship form over the summer and discussed areas we need to improve.

“We’re finding it difficult to put a good game together.

“We’ve played 10 games now and only in the Derbyshire game have we played pretty well. The other games have been pretty patchy.

“It’s disappointing.”

But with Northants operating on a limited budget and with just 15 players, are people wrong to expect much more than the team is currently producing?

“We can’t hide behind the fact that it’s not easy to compete in the Championship with a squad of 15,” Ripley said.

“We’ve had Rory Kleinveldt out, Olly Stone out and Richard Gleeson unavailable because of the nature of our deal with him.

“We had three seam bowlers unavailable so there are some things that are difficult and we need to have a bit of luck.

“But the team we put out was still a good side.”