Head Coach David Ripley has named a 13-man squad for the Steelbacks’ opening fixture in the 2021 Vitality Blast.
Brandon Glover joins the squad having returned from international duty with the Netherlands earlier in the week, while white-ball specialist Graeme White also returns to the picture.
Josh Cobb (c)
Adam Rossington (wk)
Northamptonshire’s second overseas signing for the competition, Afghanistan’s Mohammad Nabi will miss the opening weekend while completing his quarantine on arrival to the UK.
“He’ll obviously be a big miss as he’s a quality player, but we’ve got great depth in our squad now so I’m not too worried.” Steelbacks Captain Josh Cobb said.
Despite Nabi’s absence, Cobb was confident going into the opening matchup with the Worcestershire Rapids. Particularly with the addition of Wayne Parnell to his side that made the Quarter Finals of the competition last year.
“Wayne is a very good bloke to have around, he’s very experienced and from my point of view that has been useful.” Cobb said.
“His two knocks against Gloucester [in the Club’s second eleven] last week were great, he got 49 and then a 50 in the second game and it was great to see the way he went about things.
“He really impressed with his batting and obviously we know what he can do with the ball as well.”
The Steelbacks first game of the 2021 Vitality Blast will be played in front of a sold-out crowd and in front of Sky Sports’ cameras. While no more seats are available, current restrictions mean the total capacity has been reduced to less than 20% of the ground’s capacity in 2019.
Despite the limitations, Steelbacks Skipper Josh Cobb was excited for the return of fans to the Vitality Blast.
“With the cameras here on Friday it is a chance for everybody to show what they can do, and it is just a shame there won’t be a full crowd in,” said the Steelbacks skipper.
“On a personal level, any sort of crowd coming in will be better than last year.
“It wasn’t great playing in front of nobody to be honest, and the adrenaline you walk out to bat with went missing a little bit.
David Ripley too was looking forward to the impact of having spectators back in The County Ground.
“It will be a boost to have a crowd in and I think it will really make a difference,” said Ripley.
“It does give you a little advantage when you are on the charge with a run-chase, and every run or boundary is cheered, or if you pick up a wicket when you are trying to squeeze the opposition.
“Those little things, the little one percenters, will be in our favour.”
Tomorrow’s fixture gets underway at 7pm live on Sky Sports, the following six Steelbacks home fixtures will be live streamed for free through the Club’s website.