England selection is nothing more than hard working Willey deserves

David Willey hits out on his way to
David Willey hits out on his way to

David Willey’s England call is deserved recognition according to the man who perhaps knows his cricket better than anyone else.

County head coach David Ripley has been involved with the development of Northampton-born Willey from the earliest stages of his playing career.

And he feels a call-up to the England one-day squad for the international with Ireland next week - which Willey celebrated by smacking 88 in his side’s second-innings score of 429 in the LV= County Championship game against Leicestershire today - is nothing more than the all-rounder has earned.

In fact.he thinks it might even have happened sooner.

“”We’re all very excited for him and pleased he has got the call,” Ripley said.

“It’s good for him and good the club.

“He’s obviously a local lad and has come through the ranks which makes it quite special.

“It’s well deserved.

“He’s had bad luck with injury which has possibly stopped him getting this earlier.

“But he has worked very hard to get into this position.

“We all know what he’s capable of - in one-day cricket especially.

“But I’m sure his form in the four-day stuff has helped.

“He’s in a really good place at the moment. He’s playing well, his body is good and we’re all very pleased for him.”

Ripley was also impressed by the way his side’s middle and lower order performed in the match with Leicestershire.

Northamptonshire had a lead of just 88 when Adam Rossington became their fifth second-innings wicket to fall.

But a series of impressive partnerships turned the game in their favour.

Rob Newton (58), Josh Cobb (54), Rory Kleinveldt (56) and Olly Stone (28) all made tremendous contributions alongside that dynamic 88 for Willey.

“We’ve been on the ropes a couple of times but worked hard to get back into it,” Ripley added.

“It was big session this morning and we lost a couple of wickets.

“But Rob Newton batted very well. He grafted hard and got some tough runs.

“That got us going and then the partnership between Josh Cobb and David Willey set us up.

“Josh got out down the leg side which was a bit unfortunate but then then David and Rory put on 90 odd in no time at all.

“Rory just went on the offensive which changed the way the game was going.”