Pace ace Gleeson leaves Northants for Lancashire

Richard Gleeson has joined Lancashire (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Richard Gleeson has joined Lancashire (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Northants have announced that fast bowler Richard Gleeson will leave the County and join Lancashire with immediate effect.

Gleeson had a clause in his contract that allowed him to leave a year before his contract expired if a compensation figure was met by a division one club.

And Lancashire have come up with the cash to get their man.

It is another blow for Northants, who recently lost key batsman Ben Duckett to Nottinghamshire.

But the County have at least recruited Zimbabwe pace bowler Blessing Muzarabani on a three-year contract that will start in 2019.

Glesson had enjoyed a rapid rise to prominence at Northants having initially joined on a trial basis in 2015.

He impressed enough in matches against Australia and Glamorgan to earn a game-by-game agreement in 2016, which in turn became a full contract a year later.

His blend of accuracy and pace earned plenty of admirers and while he did not play in the 2016 T20 Blast Finals Day, he was an integral part of the side which reached the Edgbaston showpiece.

Despite missing a large part of the current season due to an elbow injury, Blackpool-born Gleeson had recently impressed in both the Vitality Blast and Specsavers County Championship.

But the 31-year-old requested a release from his contract for family reasons, which the Northants management has reluctantly accepted after coming to an agreement with Lancashire, who the bowler will join next week.

"Richard has a new baby and both he and his partner have their families in the north-west," said Northants head coach David Ripley.

"We were very disappointed when he asked to be released from his contract but also understand his reasons why he wanted to move to be closer to the rest of his family.

"After coming to a suitable agreement with Lancashire we have released Richard with immediate effect.

"He's been a good player for us over the last few years and he leaves with our good wishes."

Gleeson thanked Ripley and the Northants management, players and supporters for making the County Ground home for the past three years.

"It wasn't easy for me to talk to the club about leaving because the County Ground has been home to me for a few years," Gleeson said.

"Northamptonshire gave me my chance in first class cricket and I will always be grateful to Rips for giving me the opportunity.

"I will leave Northampton with some good mates and plenty of memories.

"I'd like to thank Rips and the rest of the club's management for their understanding in releasing me from my contract, and wish Northamptonshire all the best for the rest of the season and the future."