FORMER Lancashire and England left-arm spinner Simon Kerrigan has vacated his role as a coach for Shropshire and is making a return to first-class cricket.

Kerrigan joined Shropshire County Cricket Club in a player-coach role last November, but is now signing for Northamptonshire.

With the start of this season delayed owing to Covid-19, Kerrigan was unable to play a competitive match for Shropshire.

During his time at the club, he attended the club’s winter training sessions and featured in an internal Twenty20 practice match for the Shropshire squad at Whitchurch last month.

Shropshire’s Director of Cricket John Abrahams has wished Kerrigan well for his return to the first-class game, and thanked him for his time in Shropshire.

He said: “On behalf of the players and the coaching staff, I would like to congratulate Simon on securing a contract with Northamptonshire, allowing him a second opportunity to fulfil his ambitions.

"In his brief time with Shropshire, it was apparent that he has much to offer at first-class level and the level of skills he demonstrated are more than required to succeed in county cricket.

"He also showed his capability as a coach and offered advice and potential options to the Shropshire spinners.

"It is unfortunate that the current circumstances prevented him from plying his trade in National Counties cricket, and we wish him well when he plays for Northamptonshire either this season or the next.”

Kerrigan, who was released by Lancashire at the end of the 2018 season, has played more than 100 first-class matches, taking 322 wickets, while he has also appeared in 35 List A matches and 24 Twenty20 matches.

He had a spell on loan to Northamptonshire, his new club, in 2017 and will link up at The County Ground with former Shropshire seamer Ben Sanderson.