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Northants revert to Levi's style

Northants Steelbacks have re-signed South Africa opener Richard Levi to play limited-overs cricket this summer.

The 26-year-old will feature in all 14 of the Steelbacks’ NatWest T20 Blast games and eight Royal London One-Day Cup fixtures this season.

Levi scored 360 runs, including the highest score of the tournament with a match-winning 110 not out against Gloucestershire, as Northants won the 2013 Friends Life t20.

Richard Levi is set to return to Northants Steelbacks, for whom he smashed 360 runs as they claimed a first t20 title in 2013

Northamptonshire have also announced that Australia’s Jackson Bird has signed a revised contract that sees him playing in the first six, rather than 10, LV= County Championship matches but no limited-overs cricket.

Bird's new deal was agreed with Cricket Australia and allows the 27-year-old seamer to manage his work load and have pre-season in Australia in July and August.

Northants chief executive David Smith said: “Richard made a big impression last summer in t20 cricket, with match-winning innings at Cheltenham, Worcester and in the semi-final match against Essex.

“He gives us the necessary fire power in the first six overs that are so vital to posting a competitive score in t20 cricket.

“Jackson's original contract was for 10 LV= County Championship and seven NatWest T20 Blast matches. The reduced schedule will see the club try and secure a second overseas bowler, for a further six LV=CC games.

“Our aim is to find someone that will be able to play in both the NatWest T20 Blast and LV= County Championship. David Ripley is currently drawing up a shortlist of potential overseas players.”

The club have also announced that one-day skipper Alex Wakely has sustained an Achilles’ injury during the first game on the club’s pre-season tour to Barbados.

The batsman has returned to the UK with the physiotherapist Barry Goudriaan and will see a specialist in London to get a full diagnosis of the extent of the injury.

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