County news September 22, 2011

Mal Loye released by Northants

ESPNcricinfo staff

Batsman Mal Loye has been released by Northamptonshire. The Northampton-born Loye, 38, has had a long association with the county and progressed through the their age-group squads before making his Northants debut in 1991. He represented Northants for 13 years, sandwiching seven successful years with Lancashire.

A destructive top-order batsman, Loye scored over 15,000 first class runs and 8,900 one-day runs, scoring 52 centuries in county cricket. During his time at the County Ground, Loye recorded the third highest score in Northants Cricket history, 322 not out against Glamorgan in 1998. It was during that innings that he put on the County's best fifth wicket partnership of 401, with wicketkeeper David Ripley.

He was also, belatedly, an England cricketer. Loye played for England Under-19 and was then picked for an A-team tour in 1993-94, but was only given a chance to show his worth in international cricket as late as England's Australia tour in 2006-07. He struggled to build substantial innings, however, and was left out of the World Cup squad when Michael Vaughan returned.

"I would like to pay tribute to Mal for his contribution and service to Northants Cricket and to the English game," said head coach David Capel. "He has always been a person that is admired and a favourite to watch bat. Most recently, he has helped many of our younger players by passing on valuable experience, which is much appreciated.

"We would like to wish Mal all the very best in his future endeavours both in and outside of cricket."

Meanwhile, Northamptonshire captain Andrew Hall has signed a two-year contract extension to stay at Northants Cricket until the end of the 2014 season. Hall will stay at Northants on a full-time basis, and will help coach the county's talented young players during the winter months, as well as assisting with the commercial arm of the club.

"When I started here, David Capel and I said we wanted to bring through the next group of local, young players, and with me staying for 12 months of the year, it gives me a great opportunity to work with them," said Hall.