Northants Duo Target IPL
Northamptonshire duo Steven Crook and Azhar Ullah will both be looking to win a contract with in the Indian Premier League this season, but youngster David Willey has rejected the chance to play in the Twenty20 competition. Joining Crook and Ullah in the IPL auction will be Northants oversees player Jackson Bird, who is looking to make his first appearance at the event.
Willey, Crook and Azhar Ullah all played leading parts in Northant's stunning triumph in the domestic Twenty20 Cup last season, a result which shocked many people placing a cricket bet online. All-rounder Crook has decided to take a chance at being selected by a team in the IPL auction in February, as will Pakistan fast bowler Azhar, who finished last season’s domestic Twenty20 competition as the leading wicket-taker with 27.
While all-rounder Willey has been tipped to break into the England limited-overs set-up this year, the 23-year old has turned down the opportunity to play in the IPL this season despite a number of teams showing interest in the youngster. Instead, the all-rounder will look to get himself ready for a busy summer of domestic cricket, which could result in Willey earning himself a call up to the England squad.
Northamptonshire's cricket Chief Executive, David Smith said: "We can confirm that Steven Crook and Azhar Ullah will enter the IPL auction on the 12th and 13th February, which the club fully supports.”
"David Willey has declined the opportunity to enter the auction, despite lots of interest from the IPL, instead David has decided to focus on his fitness and playing for Northants."
As well as their Twenty20 achievements last season, Northants also secured promotion back to Division One of the County Championship. The county will be hoping they can enjoy some similar success when this season gets underway.
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By Mo Johnson
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