T20 FINALS DAY: Fitness boosts for Steelbacks ahead of Bears clash

IN WITH A CHANCE - Steven Crook
IN WITH A CHANCE - Steven Crook
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Northants Steelbacks have been handed a triple fitness boost on the eve of the NatWest T20 Blast Finals Day at Edgbaston - and there is still an ‘outside chance’ that Shahid Afridi will be involved as well.

All-rounder Steven Crook, who damaged his ankle while fielding last Saturday, pace bowler Olly Stone and wicket-keeper/batsman Adam Rossington are all injury doubts, but all three have been named in the squad for Saturday’s semi-final showdown with hosts and reigning champions Birmingham Bears (start 11am).

Graeme White is also expected to be fit, and head coach David Ripley confirmed: “There is good news on the injuries.

“All are progressing, but we won’t know for sure (if they are fully fit) until the morning. All are in the squad.”

The Steelbacks players will be put through their paces during a training session at Edgbaston this afternoon, and although Pakistan star Shahid Afridi won’t be involved in that, Ripley said there is still ‘an outside chance’ of him being involved in finals day.

The Pakistan T20 captain will be in the country, as this morning he tweeted a picture of him getting ready to board a flight to the UK with fellow cricket legend Wasim Akram.