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Northamptonshire promote from within as John Sadler replaces David Ripley

Sadler will eye short-form revival after disappointing white-ball season

Matt Roller
Matt Roller
John Sadler became Northants' assistant coach ahead of the 2020 season, July 16, 2020

John Sadler became Northants' assistant coach ahead of the 2020 season  •  Getty Images

Northamptonshire have appointed John Sadler as their new head coach after David Ripley stood down following a decade in the job.
Sadler joined Northants as assistant coach ahead of the 2020 season following two years in the same role at Leicestershire, where he had previously worked as the club's second-team coach. He also spent three seasons at Derbyshire as batting coach, assistant coach and interim head coach between 2014 and 2016.
Sadler will be tasked with leading a revival in white-ball cricket after results tailed off in the latter stages of Ripley's time in charge. Northants embraced a moneyball approach in their recruitment to win two Blast titles in 2013 and 2016 under Ripley's stewardship but finished eighth in their group in the Royal London Cup and bottom of the Blast's North Group this season.
Their four-day cricket has been much stronger over the last three years. They won promotion from Division Two in 2019 only for the Covid-19 pandemic's impact on the English season to cost them the opportunity to play top-flight cricket, and would have qualified for the six-team Division One this season if they had won their away fixture against Yorkshire which finished in an agonising one-run defeat.
"I'm absolutely delighted to be stepping into the top job" Sadler said. "I feel the club is in a really good place and ready to kick on even further. We've got a very exciting group of cricketers and some great people around so it's an exciting opportunity to take on.
"Rips is obviously a very, very well respected man and coach who's been around a long time. He's a real stalwart of the club in a lot of positions and the success he's had, the group of players he's assembled, he's left the side in a good place and I'm looking forward to taking it on.
"I've got massive boots to fill but if I've got half the longevity and half the success he had then I'll be delighted. I'm sure things will be slightly different with a different voice and different ideas but ultimately there's been some brilliant things going on here so it's about adding to those and not necessarily changing too much."
Chris Liddle, Northants' bowling coach, will take on further responsibilities as their assistant coach as a result of Sadler's promotion.
Ray Payne, the club's chief executive, said: "When we brought John on board at the end of 2019 there was always a feeling that he was someone we wanted to keep around long-term. He's been an excellent addition to the club and I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do as our head coach."

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98