Spriegel aims for all-round achievement
Matthew Spriegel is hoping to excel in all formats of the game after swapping Surrey for Northamptonshire in the close season.
The 25-year-old became something of a specialist limited-overs player at the Kia Oval in recent years, producing a number of impressive performances with bat and ball as Chris Adams’ side were crowned Clydesdale Bank 40 champions in 2011.
However, the off-spinning all-rounder’s showings in the one-day arena failed to see him earn a promotion to Surrey’s LV= County Championship side, with just four first-class appearances to his name in the last two years.
That prompted Spriegel to seek opportunities elsewhere and he joined seamer Steven Crook in signing a deal at Wantage Road.
And with Northants hoping to mount a promotion challenge in the longest format, while also attempting to improve their one-day fortunes, Spriegel is looking to play a key role.
Asked if he craved a chance to shine in all competitions, he exclusively told ecb.co.uk: “That’s the hope.
“It was a big decision to leave Surrey but the main reason for one was the opportunities I will hopefully be able to get playing four-day cricket for Northants.
“If I get those opportunities, then it is down to me to take them. I’m working hard on my four-day cricket every winter and then hopefully I can bring a bit of experience and a bit of know-how to win one-day games, which is what I have specialised in in the last few years at Surrey.
“I was predominantly a one-day player, a Twenty20 player, so I have got a lot of experience. And Northants are really keen to improve on their white-ball cricket with the signing of Steven Crook as well so we have a few more players with white-ball experience.
“Hopefully we can bring that to the club and bring a bit of success back to Northampton.”
Spriegel starred in Surrey’s 2011 CB40 campaign, scoring 424 runs at an average of 53 and taking 11 wickets at just over 27.
He believes that his ability in the limited-overs format will stand him in good stead for pressing his claims in championship cricket.
“You can take a lot of confidence from how you play in one-day cricket because you are playing against some high-quality players,” he said.
“Playing in some big occasions and big matches is something I thrived on and enjoyed so hopefully I can take that form into my four-day cricket.
“Given a run and some opportunities, I hope to be able to transfer that into the four-day game.”
Despite his aspirations of playing four-day cricket seemingly being strengthened following his move, Spriegel has refused to set specific targets for the season.
“I think you can get carried away with setting targets, scoring 1,000 runs and taking this many wickets, that many wickets,” Spriegel added.
“I just want to make sure I am the best cricketer I can be to score runs for Northampton and when I get the opportunity to play, I am in the best place and I can take them. You can’t say how many runs a good season is in four-day cricket.
“Obviously 1,000 runs is the benchmark, but there were only a few guys who got to there last year because of the weather. If I can establish myself in the four-day side at Northants then I am obviously doing a fair few things right.
“So instead of runs and targets, I'm sure that will become apparent as the season goes on. If I can cement myself and play every game of the season then I am doing things the right way. That’s one of my major aims, to play every game of the year.”