Australian Matt Kelly will stay with Northamptonshire for the opening matches of the Vitality Blast.

The Perth Scorchers paceman remains as cover for Kiwi Jimmy Neesham who is set to miss the start of the tournament. Neesham is part of the Rajasthan Royals IPL squad which has progressed to the play-off stages of the tournament with the final scheduled for May 29th.

“It was always in the pipeline with the IPL being as long as it is and obviously they’ve gone pretty well.”

Kelly holds a particularly impressive record in T20 cricket, averaging just 19.19 with the ball at a strike rate of a mere 14.

“I think it’ll be two games Neesham misses and we know plenty about Matt already, there’s not much discrepancy between the two.

It’s not quite like for like but he gives us four good overs and can hit a long ball.”

Kelly is available to line-up alongside fellow Australian Chris Lynn for the Steelbacks opening fixture of the Vitality Blast away at Edgbaston against the Bears on Thursday. The squad then return to The County Ground the following day for an incredible Friday night clash under lights against Durham.

Jul Sun 07 - 2:30 pm


Sun 07

2:30 pm

Northamptonshire Steelbacks




The Rajasthan Royals first play-off fixture against the table-topping Gujarat Titans takes place tomorrow, May 24th. Victory would see the Royals progress to Sunday’s final, defeat offers another chance in a second play-off fixture on Friday May 27th.