PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 30: Ricardo Vasconcelos during the Cricket SA U/19 training camp and media briefing at High Performance Centre on June 30, 2014 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)

Rising cricket star: Northamptonshire signs Ricardo Vasconcelos

Adrienne van der Merwe

Maties wicketkeeper, Ricardo Vasconcelos, has been signed by Northamptonshire following his successful early career in South Africa. Vasconcelos has represented the Stellenbosch University Cricket Club, the Boland team, as well as the South African u/19s.

On 26 March the 20-year-old will be leaving for England, providing cover for first-pick glovemen Ben Duckett and Adam Rossington.

Reflecting back on when his love for cricket started, Vasconcelos said, “I  have been playing cricket for as long as I can remember. I first started liking it because of my dad. Just watching it and playing it in the garden. From
there, I just carried on.”

Vasconcelos’s dad has had the most influence on his cricket career, always providing support and pushing him to go further and pursue his career. When looking at his track record, this becomes evident, having scored two centuries and four half-tons in 11 first-class matches.

Arriving just in time for the 2018 Specsavers County Championship, which starts on 13 April, Vasconcelos remarked, “I am really excited at the opportunity Northants is going to present. It will be a challenge, as I have always had some sort of support structure at home, but at the same time it will be interesting. I am more excited than anything, ready to hopefully kick-start a career”.

After the retirement of David Murphy at the end of the 2017 season, Northamptonshire was looking for a wicketkeeper. Having been born in Johannesburg, Vasconcelos also holds a Portuguese passport, allowing him to
play as a domestic player in England.

Furthermore, when asked about his expectations of the 2018 season ahead, playing for Northants, Vasconcelos
said, “This is a good starting point for me. Everyone wants to play county cricket at some point in their career. I
am lucky that I am going to do it so young and hopefully it can make me learn as fast as possible. It’s a long
career ahead.”

Being a former Maties student, it is definitely worth following the progress of this young talent.

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