County Championship 2022 – Northants bring in Lewis McManus with Adam Rossington ‘unavailable for selection’

County Championship 2022 - Northants bring in Lewis McManus with Adam Rossington 'unavailable for selection'
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Rossington also replaced as red-ball captain by Ricardo Vasconcelos

Adam Rossington has been replaced as Northamptonshire captain without explanation and deemed “unavailable for selection” 10 days before the start of the County Championship season.

Rossington, the wicketkeeper-batter, took over as captain from Alex Wakely in June 2019, midway through the club’s promotion-winning season. He led the side in the Bob Willis Trophy in 2020 and in last season’s Championship when they finished fourth in the six-team Division Two.

Northants’ communications were still referring to Rossington as their captain before a pre-season tour to Potchefstroom earlier this month, but on Friday the club announced that Ricardo Vasconcelos would lead the red-ball side in 2022 in a statement that did not mention Rossington by name.

On Monday morning, ahead of a pre-season friendly against Cardiff UCCE, the club announced that wicketkeeper Lewis McManus had signed on loan from Hampshire, initially for the first four weeks of the season. A statement added that Rossington was “currently unavailable for selection” but without disclosing a reason.

The club are due to play in Division One of the Championship this year, with the structure for the postponed 2020 season restored after two Covid-affected summers, and have a new head coach with John Sadler taking over from David Ripley at the start of the winter.

“We want to be playing against the best and the lads are buzzing that we are in the First Division,” Sadler said in a press release announcing the captaincy re-structure. “The whole club has got a real feel of excitement towards it.”

Josh Cobb has been kept on as white-ball captain, though will be unavailable for the Royal London Cup after he was retained by Welsh Fire ahead of next week’s Hundred draft.

“Josh has been brilliant. His knowledge of the white ball game is incredible and he’s so tactically astute,” Sadler added. “Ricardo is an incredible young player and now at the stage of his career where he’s ready to thrive and take on this added responsibility.”

Northants have been contacted for comment.

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98

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