Saif signs new deal at Northants

Saif Zaib (right) is staying at Northants
Saif Zaib (right) is staying at Northants

All-rounder Saif Zaib has signed a new two-year contract at Northants, keeping him at the club until at least the end of the 2021 season.

A product of the Academy at the County Ground, Zaib has been a regular in the Second XI throughout 2019 but has enjoyed limited opportunities in the first team.

However, the 21-year-old is hopeful that his time will soon come at Northants.

And Zaib said: “I’m very excited to have signed a new deal, it’s been a bit difficult being in and out of the first team, but I just look to do anything to help the team and the games I have played I feel like I’ve done well.

“Hopefully this is an opportunity to play some more first-class cricket for me.

"I’ve been felling quite good this year, I’ve felt like my technique has been in decent stead, so I just need to push on in the next couple of years.”

Zaib has featured in one Royal London One-Day Cup game and three Specsavers County Championship matches this year, posting a vital half-century against Derbyshire in the latter.

“I’d like to play in all formats, particularly break into our T20 side a bit more than I have in the last couple of years and be a bit more of an important player for the club," Zaib said.

“I’ve worked hard on my bowling in the last couple of years and I feel like it’s coming out a lot better than it has done in previous years.

"It’s something I want to work on more in the winter and see how it pans out in the next couple of years.”

Northants head coach David Ripley was delighted to reward Zaib’s performances following his improvement this season.

“He’s scored hundreds in the second team and shown a hunger for big scores and has continued to improve on his bowling," Ripley said.

"Saif is an excellent fielder and offers something for all three formats, he’s one of ours, an Academy guy and I’m really pleased to give him a two-year deal.”