Ripley expecting 'strong' Steelbacks to shine in One Day Cup next summer

Adam Rossington is currently the only Northants Steelbacks player who will be involved in The Hundred next summer
Adam Rossington is currently the only Northants Steelbacks player who will be involved in The Hundred next summer

David Ripley won't be coaching Northants Steelbacks in the 50-over county competition next summer - but he is backing the team to shine in his absence.

And the County head coach believes the revamped One Day Cup competition will be still be a strong and worthwhile one, despite it being forced to play second fiddle to The Hundred, which is launched next summer.

Trent Bridge will host the One Day Cup Final next September

Trent Bridge will host the One Day Cup Final next September

It is Ripley's involvement as assistant coach to Shane Warne at the London Spirit Hundred franchise that means he will be taking a break from his role at Northants for four weeks at the end of July and beginning of August, but he believes that will be a great chance for the club's yet-to-be-appointed assistant coach to show what he can do.

Whoever is handed that role will be in charge of the Steelbacks for the 50-over competition, along with white ball skipper Josh Cobb - but Ripley says he will still be 'living and breathing all the results'.

One of the big criticisms of the ECB forcing through their new 100-ball competition has been the supposed downgrading of the 50-over competition, especially in the wake of England's stunning Cricket World Cup win last summer.

The final has been switched from its traditional home of Lord's to Trent Bridge, and it was initially announced mooted that the 50-over competition would be a 'development tournament'.

Somerset were the winners of the Royal London One Day Cup Final at Lord's last summer

Somerset were the winners of the Royal London One Day Cup Final at Lord's last summer

But Ripley says he never believed that was going to be the case, and even teams who have several players involved in The Hundred will have the financial capability of ensuring they are competitive in the 50-over game as well.

As it stands, the Steelbacks only have one player involved in The Hundred in Adam Rossington.

Others could yet receive one of the eight wildcard spots up for grabs on the conclusion of the Vitality T20 Blast group stages, but it seems likely that Northants will be close to full strength, and Ripley knows it is a chance for the club to challenge for the silverware.

"We are going to be strong, there is going to be some tough selections to make, and it is going to be an opportunity for the other coaches (who come in) as well," said the County head coach, who revealed last week he is hoping to announce his new assistant and a skills coach in the coming weeks.

Northants head coach David Ripley

Northants head coach David Ripley

"I am not going to be messing around with it, I am going to be gone, and it is going to be an opportunity for the other guys to run the competition, along with Josh as the captain.

"I will still be living and breathing all the results, wondering what team they are going to pick, and I am sure they might have to tell me to shut up here and there, as it will be difficult to switch off that's for sure."

On the merits of the 50-over tournament, and the criticism that it is being completely sidelined by the ECB as they seem to be throwing everything into The Hundred, Ripley said: "At one point I heard people calling it a development competition, but that was never going happen.

"There will be players missing, but that sometimes happens when England are playing anyway, or you have injuries, and you still want to win the competition.

"It will be difficult for some teams because they have lost so many, but they will be compensated for that.

"They will get 12 per cent of their salaries back, and it is then up to the counties to decide what they do with that.

"It might work out that they invest it in some minor counties cricketers, and I am sure they will have an overseas player as well.

"At one point I thought overseas players were going to banned, but again that is not the case, so let's get the competition as strong as we can.

"There will also be chances for young players at some of those counties, but with us at the moment having one player missing we will be strong."

The domestic 2020 fixture calendar has yet to be confirmed by the ECB, but the One Day Cup Final date has been finalised for Saturday, September 19 at Trent Bridge.