County news 2014 April 2, 2014

Kleinveldt is Northants target

ESPNcricinfo staff

Northamptonshire are hoping to conclude a deal with the South African allrounder Rory Kleinveldt as they attempt to address the ill luck that has dogged them as they prepare for life in the Championship first division.

Northants made Kleinveldt their preferred target after Jackson Bird, the Australia fast bowler, was ruled out due to a back complaint. Bird, who has played three Tests for Australia, has been ordered to rest for four months by Cricket Australia so will was unable to take up a county deal which had already been reduced to six Championship matches.

Kleinveldt has been a key component of the Cape Cobras attack this season, although he has been hampered by calf and knee trouble in the closing stages of the season.

Northants' pace-bowling resources have also been further hit by the likely unavailability of left-armer Willey for the opening match against Durham as he continues to be hindered by the back problem that hampered his winter and forced him out of the England performance programme in Australia.

Alex Wakely, the one-day captain, is expected to miss the entire season after rupturing his Achilles on the pre-season tour of Barbados. He underwent surgery last week. Ron Newton, David Sales and Ben Duckett also have injury concerns.