South Africa all-rounder Rory Kleinveldt’s anticipated move to Northamptonshire has fallen through due to injury, according to the Guardian.
The Wantage Road side were hoping to secure Kleinveldt’s signature to make him their overseas player for 2014, but a knee injury has seen Cricket South Africa block the move. It means the Steelbacks have been frustrated once again in their efforts to bring in talent from abroad, after a move for Australian Jackson Bird suffered a similar fate when he was ordered to rest his back for four months.
Northants were already facing an uphill struggle in Division One after winning promotion last season. One of the stars of that campaign, David Willey, has had to withdraw from the England Performance Programme squad through injury, while vice-captain Alex Wakely is out for the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon.
To add to their woes, batsmen Rob Keogh and James Kettleborough both remain sidelined with finger injuries, and wicket keeper Ben Duckett is out with a knee problem. Former captain David Sales’ continuous injury struggles have shown no signs of easing up, with the batsman also missing for much of pre-season.
Kleinveldt, strong on his right with both bat and ball, hoped to make up for their torrid pre-season preparations. Last week, the deal seemed done and dusted when it was announced he would play in eight County Championship games, along with up to ten T20 matches throughout the season.
The club has revealed, however, that in spite of their best wishes – and even their unveiling of Kleinveldt to the press – the 31-year-old will not make his return to English cricket after spending the 2008 County Championship on the south coast with Hampshire.
Cricket South Africa will also be unimpressed that Kleinveldt, who has notched up ten Test wickets for the Proteas, picked up the knock while playing for his franchise side, the Cape Cobras, coached by former international Paul Adams. His form for the Western Province side may have inspired Northants to pick up the phone, but he will now miss the chance to catch the South African selectors’ eye ahead of the summer.
The decision has left Northants in a situation that is far from ideal, with the new season having got underway on Sunday. James Middlebrook has done much to keep Northants in the game against Durham in their first match of the season, with four wickets in the second innings. Matt Spriegel fell painfully short of his first century for the county, caught behind by Phil Mustard on 97.
Nevertheless, a hearty performance against the champions should not detract from the search for an overseas fillip.
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