The Afghan all-rounder signs a coup, while the northerners try to strengthen the middle order
Northamptonshire pulled off a big coup by signing Afghan all-rounder Mohammad Nabi as one of their overseas players for the 2021 T20 Blast.
After several seasons of cutting costs at the club, Northants have signaled their improved financial position over the past two years with several overseas signings: Jason Holder, Temba Bavuma, Faheem Ashraf and Dwaine Pretorius all played sometime in 2019, while AB de Villiers had this one Talks before he finally signed for Middlesex.
Ashraf and Kieron Pollard signed for the explosion last summer before their contracts were terminated because of the pandemic. Instead, Paul Stirling was recruited on short notice with a letter of intent prior to the competition the following year.
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Nabi will be 36 years old next month, but remains a very sought-after player on the global T20 circuit as a strong mid-tier batsman and clever offspinner who can roll in power play. Northants will be his third county after previous seasons in Leicestershire and Kent in 2018 and 2019.
“We are delighted to welcome such a high-profile T20 player as Mohammad Nabi to the club,” said David Ripley, Northants Cricket Director. “He has a wealth of experience from so many global tournaments around the world and can completely spin a game of racket and ball.”
Josh Cobb, the club’s T20 captain, said they identified the medium-order batting as a problem area after it fell off in the second half of this season’s blast.
“Nabi was our main target for this role, so rips [David Ripley] and the club did a great job to get it. “Cobb said.” We considered our middle order a priority, so Nabi, with his strength and experience, was the perfect choice. “
“Together with Tom [Taylor] last year we look pretty strong in this area now. They’re both three-dimensional players so they help us balance a bit and give us a lot of options that day. “
Nabi was signed by the London Spirit in the opening draft for the Hundred, and while his retention has yet to be formally confirmed, a press release from Northants said he would be available for approval by Afghanistan after participating in that competition for the quarter-finals of the explosion Cricket board.
Matt Roller is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets at @ mroller98