Promotion-chasing Northants hit by huge injury blow

Ricardo Vasconcelos has been ruled out for the rest of the season
Ricardo Vasconcelos has been ruled out for the rest of the season

Northants have suffered a big blow with the news that key man Ricardo Vasconcelos has been ruled out for the rest of the season.

The nature of the injury has not yet been revealed but Vasconcelos issued the news on Instagram, stating he was 'absolutely gutted' that his season had 'come to a premature end'.

The 21-year-old wicketkeeper-bastman has been a star man for the County this season, backing up last season's young player of the year award in real style.

He has won all three player of the month prizes in 2019, claiming the accolade in April, May and June.

Vasconcelos tops Northants' Specsavers County Championship Division Two batting averages, having hit 750 runs in just 18 innings at an average of 46.88.

He has made three half-centuries and two centuries in the Championship this season, propelling Northants into the promotion places.

And Vasconcelos also excelled in the Royal London One-Day Cup, averaging 51.

He made 255 runs in five matches in the 50-over competition, racking up two fifties and one ton in the process.

The South African's absence will leave a big hole in the Northants batting line-up as they bid for glory in the Vitality T20 Blast and promotion from the Championship.

And Vasconcelos wrote: "Absolutely gutted that my season has come to a premature end. Thanks to everyone for the messages over the past few days I really appreciate it. Backing the boys for a massive blast campaign and a big push for promotion at the end #steelbacks #nofinertown."