Northants boosted by return of 'big character' Kleinveldt

Rory Kleinveldt has returned to Northants (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Rory Kleinveldt has returned to Northants (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Head coach David Ripley is happy to have 'big character' Rory Kleinveldt back in the Northants dressing room.

Kleinveldt is now back in England as he begins his predominantly white-ball stint at the County.

The 35-year-old has an amended contract in Northampton this season to keep him fresh for the shorter formats of the game.

Doug Bracewell covered for Kleinveldt for the first four County Championship Division Two matches.

But Kleinveldt returned to action in Northants colours last week, playing in a second team game against Lancashire.

And Ripley is looking forward to seeing him involved in the Royal London One-Day Cup opener against Leicestershire Foxes at the County Ground on Thursday.

"He's a big character," Ripley said.

"Rory is a big influence in the dressing room and he's very determined to have a good competition.

"He's motivated to come over and do well for us.

"He played for the second team against Lancashire last Tuesday and he will play again on Monday to get some practice in.

"We want to get him as ready as we can for that first game.

"He's arrived early to give himself the best preparation for the 50-over competition."

Kleinveldt helped Northants to win the T20 competition in 2016 and has traditionally been brought to England for a full season.

But Ripley explained: "This time, it's a slightly amended contract to what we usually have.

"On both sides, we were looking for him to have a full season, but it was looking difficult for him to come through unscathed.

"If he did pick up injuries, we would have missed out on our overseas so this year he's come for mainly white-ball cricket so that's less strain on the body, but he is available for red-ball cricket while he's here as well."