County news July 12, 2013

Copeland to return to Northants

ESPNcricinfo staff

Trent Copeland, the Australia seamer, will return to boost Northamptonshire's hopes of achieving promotion. Copeland was initially signed for the first half of the season, claiming 36 Championship wickets in seven games, and he will now return for Northants' final three fixtures.

Copeland returned to Sydney in June with Northants unbeaten and top of the table, having averaged 49.3 with the bat and 16.25 with the ball. Since then, the club have drawn once and lost twice to Lancashire, who have also overtaken them as Division Two leaders.

In all competitions Copeland claimed 50 wickets but he was replaced for the FLt20 by Australia allrounder Cameron White and South Africa opener Richard Levi. Northamptonshire's head coach, David Ripley, had previously indicated they might try to re-sign the tall fast bowler, who has played three Tests for Australia.

"This news will give everybody involved with Northants a lift," Ripley said. "Trent made an outstanding contribution in his first stint with us, both on and off the field, we look forward to welcoming both him and his wife Kim back to the County Ground."

Northamptonshire currently lie second in Division Two, a point behind Lancashire having played a game more than the teams around them. With six fixtures left, they are 38 points clear of Worcestershire in the race for automatic promotion.