County news October 29, 2013

Northants complete squad with Jackson Bird

ESPNcricinfo staff

Northamptonshire have signed Australia fast bowler Jackson Bird for 2014, completing their squad for their return to Division One of the County Championship next season.

Another Australian, Trent Copeland, was a major factor in Northants winning promotion last season and the club hope Bird will have a similar impact to help them survive in the top division.

Copeland could not obtain a work visa for 2014 but Bird, who could feature in the upcoming Ashes, has no such issues and has signed a deal to play ten Championship matches and seven Twenty20s.

Bird, 26, has taken 109 first-class wickets at 20.77 and earned three Test caps, the last of which was against England at Durham in August.

Chief executive David Smith said Bird's signing completed the club's recruitment for next season. They have also added fast bowler Maurice Chambers, released by Essex having spent most of 2013 on loan at Warwickshire, and spinner Graeme White, who returns to the county he began his career with after a brief sojourn at Nottinghamshire.

Allrounders Steven Crook and the highly-rated David Willey are among a host of other players to have signed new deals at Wantage Road.

"The club has demonstrated following promotion to Division One, its desire to retain its best players and carefully recruit players that we believe will strengthen the current squad within its cricket playing budget," Smith said.

"Along with the significant recent investment into ground facilities, the club now believes it is making real progress towards becoming a county that all members, supporters and players can be really proud of."

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  • Lewis on October 31, 2013, 17:28 GMT

    Excellent signing by the county! Will be difficult in division 1 though against much better 'county' standard bowlers rather than 'club' bowlers in division 2.

    Still think they are lacking a couple of class bastmen in the middle order - not sure how Wakely, Newton and Keogh will fair in Division 1. Shame they release Christian Davis after limited opportunities - he's a classy young player.

  • stuart on October 30, 2013, 20:09 GMT

    being an Aussie fastish bowler can we expect the usual bout of sickness

  • Cyril on October 29, 2013, 14:14 GMT

    This type of bowler does well in Championship cricket (Magoffin at Sussex was exceptional last season). I hope Northants go well and continue to play positive cricket. Wins are what keeps teams up not a fear of losing leading to dead pitches and bore-draws.

    Northants seem to have lots of attacking cricketers and I enjoyed watching them at Finals Day. They had lots of fans there too (way more than Surrey did), which shows there is potential at the County. Hopefully they can secure some good sponsors and continue to progress.

    They will have to play exceptionally well to stay up though. The First Division is so strong now, but the best way to adjust is to play aggressive cricket and Northants appear capable of doing that.

  • Peter on October 29, 2013, 11:49 GMT

    A shrewd effort by Northants. They will be pleasantly surprised by what a good bowler they have secured although totally different to Copeland. Copeland certainly produced with the bat as well.

  • Sharyn on October 29, 2013, 11:05 GMT

    Bird will be good for them. Shame for Copeland though, he played a huge part in them getting back to Division One.

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