Ripley: Lack of Sky coverage motivated Steelbacks in Bears success

David Ripley was delighted with his team's display against Birmingham Bears (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
David Ripley was delighted with his team's display against Birmingham Bears (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
1
Have your say

David Ripley says it is a ‘little bit strange’ that the Steelbacks haven’t had more Sky coverage this season.

And he admits he and his players used that as motivation ahead of their superb 74-run success against Birmingham Bears on Tuesday night.

Northants’ 12th game of their North Group campaign was the first that had been shown live on Sky Sports.

Other counties have had several televised outings during the competition, and Ripley is irked by the lack of exposure his players have been given.

He feels they have proved a point with their big win against the Bears, which put the Steelbacks back on top of the table and secured a quarter-final spot.

And Ripley said: “We’ve got some very good young players here, some good seasoned professionals and we’re a good team.

“Ben Duckett showed his talent in the England Lions environment (the batsman scored an unbeaten 163 in a win against Pakistan A earlier in the day), and we’ve showed it tonight.

“To be on TV for the first time of the season tonight, on game 12, seems a little bit strange. I’m a bit disappointed by it.”

And he added: “We’ll have another game (the quarter-final), and we’ve earned that.

“There’s plenty of players and teams who have had a lot of exposure and they’re nowhere near the quarter-finals.

“We can use those things to our advantage, and sometimes we do.

“We wanted to show tonight the kind of good cricket we can play, and that’s what we did. It was a very good performance.”

When asked whether he and the players had spoken about the lack of Sky coverage before the game, Ripley said: “Yes.”

The Steelbacks certainly caught the eye as they completed a second T20 success against the Bears in July.

Ripley’s side had won by eight wickets at Edgbaston on the first day of the month, and this performance, inspired by 85 from Adam Rossington and four for 20 from Graeme White, could be classed as even better.

“It would be up there (as the best performance of the competition so far), with how we played at Birmingham,” Ripley said.

“These guys have caught us on two good days where we’ve put an all-round game together.

“Between the two games here and at Edgbaston, Birmingham have seen the best of us. Those two performances stand out for me.

“We were really good tonight because there was maybe a bit more pressure with us having a bad week and losing a couple of games.

“To end that run in such an emphatic way was really good.”