County news October 6, 2013

Chambers agrees Northants switch

Northamptonshire have signed fast bowler Maurice Chambers on a two-year contract.

The deal represents something of a coup for the club. Chambers joined Warwickshire on loan at the end of August after Essex, his original club, made it clear that he no longer featured in their plans. But while Warwickshire also offered Chambers a deal, he has chosen to join recently promoted Northants instead.

Chambers impressed for Warwickshire. Having failed to hold down a place in the side of Division Two Essex, he claimed 14 wickets at an average of 27.36 in four Division One matches, including 5 for 68 on debut against Sussex, and scored a career-best 58 in the final match of the season against Derbyshire.

But despite his success at the club, Chambers reasoned he may have more opportunity at Northamptonshire. At full strength, the Warwickshire squad includes seamers Boyd Rankin, Chris Woakes, Chris Wright, Keith Barker and Rikki Clarke, all of whom have been included in England or England Lions squads in the last 12 months and all of whom would probably feature ahead of Chambers in selection. Aged 26, he is not at the stage of his career where he wants to play any more 2nd XI cricket.

The attraction for Northants is obvious. Chambers bowls at a sharp pace and was good enough to represent England U-19s before losing his way a little at Essex. With Northants unable to obtain a visa for Trent Copeland, their main overseas player in 2013, next year and having taken the decision to release fast bowler Luke Evans, their seam resources were looking a little thin ahead of their return to Division One cricket.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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  • Naveed on October 8, 2013, 10:34 GMT

    Maurice is talented and David Ripley may well be the man that Grayson, Childs and company are not, in regards to extracting performances out of him. Topley and Mills need to be watched, although have to say in the case of Topley, his returns speak for themselves, so in his case the people responsible have done ok thus far........ As a county, Essex catchment area is too big. Essex should be East of Chelmsford. Give London and the suburbs another county, you may then see more players coming out of North and South East of London. More opportunities for more players and perhaps not so much wasted talent from Essex.

  • Dan on October 7, 2013, 14:07 GMT

    There have been too many promising careers that have stagnated to argue that Essex don't have a problem developing the talent they identify. I suspect frequently attempting to acquire "names" (Ghambir, Harbhajan, Tsotsobe, Gough, Shah, Mahmood) who are, one way or another, damaged goods is a contributory factor. On the other hand I find the argument that in allowing Chris Wright to go they snubbed Dennis Lillee's heir apparent a bit hard to sustain. In his years at Middlesex and Essex not a single soul identified him as anything other than a player struggling to establish himself at County level. He had a wonderful 2012 for Warwicks but his stats prior to his unfortunate injury this season suggested we could well be seeing a reversion to the mean. Now Maurice Chambers is being added to the mix. He has spent years being labelled "promising" but he delivered on that promise lamentably infrequently. I hope he fullfills himself at Northants but my gast will not be flabbered if he doesn't.

  • Samuel on October 7, 2013, 13:42 GMT

    Hope he continues the form he has shown for Warwickshire - such a talented player. Good move for him I feel. He and Willey could make a fine new ball partnership. Raises questions yet again over Essex and their handling of young players though, if another one moves on and continues to perform well elsewhere.

  • steven on October 7, 2013, 9:40 GMT

    Sensible choice by a player probably fed up of second XI cricket What is wrong at Essex though with regards young fast bowlers. They bring them in the team and then they stagnate and look like they are not good enough for county cricket. Then they leave and join a club like Warwickshire, and low and behold their average suddenly jumps down to under 30s. First Wright and now Chambers, both of whom Essex thought were not good enough. small sample for Chambers I know, but the signs are promising. Someone needs to get hold of Tymal Mills and Reece Topley before they start nose diving. The final nail is the fact last season they signed Saj Mahmood who has lost his pace and rhythm to go alongside his waywardness. Future news Steve Harmison decides not to retire so as to join Essex!

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