Steelbacks skipper Vasconcelos happy to lead from the front in One Day Cup campaign
Ricardo Vasconcelos is relishing the chance to captain the Steelbacks in the Royal London One Day Cup.
The 23-year-old was this week confirmed as the skipper for the competition, with regular white ball captain Josh Cobb and red ball leader Adam Rossington both away for the next month on Hundred duty.
In their absence Vasconcelos will step up to take charge of the 50-over team, having already led Northants three times in the LV= Insurance County Championship this summer.
In previous interviews Vasconcelos has made no secret of the fact he enjoys captaincy, and he is looking forward to guiding the team through their Group B campaign, which begins on Sunday with the visit of Glamorgan.
“Captaincy is something I’ve wanted to do and to get the chance to do it this young is obviously a big step in my career and I’m looking forward to it," Vasconcelos told nccc.co.uk
Vice captain for the One Day Cup will be South African all-rounder Wayne Parnell, and Vasconcelos also knows there are plenty of other older and more experienced heads he can count on for advice if required.
“Having Parny (Parnell) there is massive," admitted the left-handed batsman, who will also keep wicket in the competition.
"He’s played international cricket and played all over the world, so to have someone with that much experience and knowledge of the game to lean on will definitely help.
“Also the likes of Graeme White who’s been playing for years and years, there’s enough experience there for me to lean on which I will at some stage I’m sure, it’s nice to have those guys backing me.”
The Steelbacks go into the One Day Cup off the back of a hugely disappointing Vitality T20 Blast campaign that saw them finish rock-bottom of the North Group, with just four wins to their name.
They started that competition with five straight defeats, and Vasconcelos is anticipating a much more positive start to their 50-over campaign.
“We’ve had a bit of disappointment over the last few weeks," he admitted. "But this is a fresh start, a fresh comp and there’s a good energy in the camp.
“Everyone seems really up for it so we’ll be hoping for a strong start this weekend.”
The Steelbacks have named a strong looking 14-man squad for the Glamorgan encounter, with Ben Sanderson, Rob Keogh and Nathan Buck returning to the fray after sitting out Tuesday's warm-up friendly win over Bedfordshire.
“We go into every competition looking to win it and this one’s no different even without some of those senior players, said Vasconcelos, who will also be without Brandon Glover, who is part of the Oval Invincibles squad in The Hundred, Luke Procter and Gareth Berg.
“It’s not a competition that we’re going to use just to give opportunities, we want to win and we’ll be picking our strongest side every game," he said.
Glamorgan will arrive at the County Ground with a win already under their belts.
The Welsh side saw off Warwickshire by two wickets in their opening Group match on Thursday, with both skipper Kiran Carlson and Billy Root hitting half centuries.
Steelbacks squad v Glamorgan: Ricardo Vasconcelos (c), Nathan Buck, Ben Curran, Emilio Gay, Freddie Heldreich, Rob Keogh, Simon Kerrigan, Wayne Parnell, Ben Sanderson, Tom Taylor, Charlie Thurston, Graeme White, Jack White, Saif Zaib