Northants red ball squad complete as head coach Ripley admits he 'can't wait to get cracking' in 2020

Northants claimed promotion from Specsavers County Championship in September
Northants claimed promotion from Specsavers County Championship in September

David Ripley says Northants' recruitment drive is now complete as he prepares his squad for their return to division one of the Specsavers County Championship in 2020.

And he has admitted he 'can't wait to get cracking'.

Northants head coach David Ripley

Northants head coach David Ripley

The signing of fast bowler Jack White on a one-year deal earlier this week means Ripley has completed his squad for red ball cricket, although he is still searching for another overseas player to join Faheem Ashraf in the Vitality T20 Blast.

As well as White, Ashraf has signed on for all formats for the first half of the season, while Gareth Berg will start his first full campaign at the club following his short stint at the end of last summer.

Ricardo Vasconcelos signed a five-year deal with the club in September, while Rob Keogh, Charlie Thurston, Emili Gay and Saif Zaib have also put pen to paper on new deals, with Graeme White signing an extension to his white ball contract.

With nobody leaving after last season's promotion from division two, it means that Ripley is pretty happy with what he has got at his disposal, and asked if there would be any more recruitment before next April, he said: "Not really, we are done now.

David Ripley spent 17 seasons as a player at Northants

David Ripley spent 17 seasons as a player at Northants

"We are just looking for that second T20 player, and we have a couple of gentle offers out there, testing the water.

"Hopefully we can get something done on that in the next few weeks."

The head coach believes the County have got the quality in all departments and the strength in depth to compete in the top flight, as well as in the Blast and 50-over competition.

Ripley has been at the helm at the County Ground for more than seven years now, and he says he hasn't lost any of his appetite for the task ahead - although he does admit there have been times when he has questioned his own position, despite the fact he is a two -time T20 Blast winner and twice guided the County to promotion in his time in charge.

"I can't wait for the season to get going," said the 53-year-old, who also spent 17 years with the club as a player.

"The results can take their toll on you a little bit, and there were times last year when things weren't going so well in white ball cricket, and you think about shelf life and whether you are still connected enough to make a difference.

"I thought about that, and I have thought about that regularly over the years because that is the kind of bloke I am, I feel those disappointments.

"But I think the promotion, the way we played, and I look around the squad and our facilities, the way we have improved as a club, and the way we have got away from that kind of tough time we had, and I am really enthused.

"I can't wait to see the fixtures, and I can't wait to get cracking.

"There are some changes around the coaching staff and guys will be missed.

"They are going to take some replacing, but that will also add a little something different, with how those guys are going to work with me and how I will work with them.

"So there is a lot to look forward to."