The fight for the 2019 Royal London One Day Cup is on!

The Steelbacks are set for a big summer with the white ball and it all starts on Wednesday in Durham. Rob Keogh said improving their short-form game has been a focus for the squad in the off-season.  

“We’ve worked a lot over the winter on our white ball skills, bowlers working on their yorkers and slower balls, batters working on scoring in different areas.” he said.

“It’s an exciting year for us, we can only improve on last year and back ourselves to be a good white ball side.”

The Steelbacks squad is filled with names who look set for a strong campaign, including Windies captain Jason Holder who plays the first 6 matches.

With the experience of 90 one day internationals behind him, Keogh is sure Holder will bring a lot to the side.

“He’s the world’s best all rounder at the minute, we’ve seen what he can do in the Windies series against England hopefully he can show us all his skills with the white ball.

When you sign someone like that you’ve got to back him to go in and get the job done.” he said.

Keogh himself will be chasing a strong campaign after missing all of the Vitality Blast last year with a finger injury.

“It’s always fun to play the white ball stuff, it’s nice to go out there and express some skills and show what you can do, I’m looking forward to getting back into it.”

Club captain Alex Wakely will be hoping to build off a productive competition in 2018. He believes the side is in a really good place ahead of this year’s tournament.

“There’s a lot of confidence running through the boys now, they’re ready to go, we want to do ourselves justice and get some wins on the board. We’ve done a lot of hard work over the winter on skills we’ve talked about the game more, a lot of work has gone into the tactical side of it.”

Wakely was the club’s leading run scorer last year, racking up nearly 300 at an average of 40. With over 2,000 career List A runs his experience at the top of the order will be vital.

Watch out for the big hitting of Adam Rossington and Josh Cobb who both averaged near 40 last year, Cobb taking home the award for most sixes at the end of season dinner. Cobb has found form with the bat in red ball in recent matches recently too, posting 139 against Durham MCCU and 60 last week against Glamorgan.

“All the batters are in form, everyone’s scoring lots of runs. For me the focus is pretty simple, when you’re batting and when you get 50, 60, 70 it’s about turning that into 130. When you get a score like that more often than not you end up on the winning side.” Wakely said.

New to the squad for this year, keep an eye on the six foot eight Zimbabwean Blessing Muzarabani. With international experience behind him at a young age, his express pace will be sure to bring a lot to the attack.

“I think one of the things we struggled with last year was death bowling,” the Skipper said.

“A lot of hard works gone into that. All the bowlers are chomping at the bit to get stuck into that, even though it’s a tough ask to bowl at the end.”

Nathan Buck will also be keen to carry his form from the red to the white ball. He’s taken 13 wickets in the first 3 fixtures of the year, including a career best 8/107 against Middlesex.

With 8 fixtures in the One Day Cup, 4 of them at home at The County Ground, there’s plenty of opportunity to impress. Be there to support your Northamptonshire Steelbacks in the 2019 Royal London One Day Cup with tickets from £5 for juniors. Save money and buy tickets online in advance.

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