O'Brien on the rise
Northants coach David Capel is delighted to have returning World Cup hero Niall O’Brien as part of his squad for the forthcoming LV County Championship campaign.
Wicketkeeper-batsman O’Brien was a key performer in Ireland’s remarkable success in reaching the Super Eight in the Caribbean.
He top-scored with 63 off 88 balls as they pushed England hard in a 48-run defeat, having hit a superb 72 in the stunning triumph over Pakistan in the group stages.
The former Kent man will turn out at Wantage Road and Capel hopes to utilise his talents alongside Chris Rogers, who was prolific with the bat last season.
“I’m pleased to see he has had that level of success,” Capel said. “He has shown himself up in a really good light and shown what a fighter and great character he is.”
Northants have also retained David Sales as captain, and Capel sang his praises as he team target promotion to the top flight of the championship.
“David is coming into his fourth year as county captain,” Capel added. “He has seen some good things and had to come through some adversity, particularly at the end of last season when the team pulled together and we had some success in the Pro40.”
Capel is braced for being without star England spinner Monty Panesar for large chunks of the season but feels he has the squad to cope.
“We’re expecting Monty to be missing because of his involvement with England, but when he is with us it’s good news because he offers us a major wicket-taking force,” Capel added.