Ripley believes free-scoring Vasconcelos has an England future

Head coach David Ripley believes Northants batsman Ricardo Vasconcelos can go on to play for England.

Friday, 30th April 2021, 9:29 am
Updated Friday, 30th April 2021, 9:32 am
Northants batsman Ricardo Vasconcelos

The 23-year-old has enjoyed a superb start to the 2021 season, cracking two centuries in six innings to date, including a stunning match-winning 185 not out against Glamorgan last Sunday.

That effort took his LV= Insurance Championship run tally for the campaign to an impressive 397 from just three matches, at a staggering average of 99.25.

He is currently 21 not out overnight in the County's match with Yorkshire at Headingley, meaning he now has 418 runs at an average of 104.5, and he will be hoping he can build on that score when he resumes on Friday.

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Ben Duckett was capped by England when a Northants player in 2016

Born in South Africa, Vasconcelos holds a Portuguese passport and opted to take the England qualification route when he signed for the County in 2018.

After impressing in his first summer, the opening batsman was handed a five-year contract in 2019, and Ripley believes the England selectors will already have an eye on the player ahead of the completion of his qualification.

“I have no doubt that he can play for England,” said the head coach.

“I really think that once he is qualified, I don’t think England will take too long in having a look at him, at Lions level and stuff like that if he continues to score the way he is scoring.

“And it is how he gets those runs as well, he is a lovely batsman to watch.

“He plays the short ball well, and I am really hopeful he is going to get his qualification period done and start giving the England selectors a nudge.

“I think he is that good.”

The last Northants player to represent England at Test cricket was Ben Duckett, who made four appearances against Bangladesh and India in October and November, 2016.