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Although Leeds-born, ‘Rips’ qualified as an honorary Northamptonian years ago by dint of his long service to Northamptonshire CCC as both player and coach. He made his debut for the County’s Second XI in 1982 – aged just 16 – and has been involved with the club in some capacity ever since. He claimed 752 dismissals behind the stumps (and scored nearly 9,000 runs) in his 306 first-class matches for Northamptonshire, captaining the team in 2001, and after hanging up his gloves moved into the coaching side – eventually taking charge of the first team partway through the 2012 campaign. In 2013, his first full season in charge, he masterminded the County’s Championship and T20 success and earned both the top clubman and media awards, before taking the Steelbacks to another NatWest Blast title in 2016 – an achievement that confirmed his status as one of the most knowledgeable and adaptable coaches in the country.

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