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Steelbacks Harvey out with swine flu

Northamptonshire's Twenty20 hopes have been hit after star all-rounder Ian Harvey was ruled out of tonight's quarter-final clash with swine flu.

The Steelbacks' preparations for the clash with Hampshire Hawks were rocked by news the Australian who was signed specifically to perform in this competition had fallen in with the virus.

Harvey has been a key figure in the club's success in the competition so far.

He is the leading runscorer with 258 to his name and also tops the wicket-taker's list with 12 at an average of 10.58 many at match-defining moments.

He has also taken more catches than anyone else in the side with seven.
It is an undoubted blow to the County's hopes.

But, despite being understandably disappointed, head coach David Capel does not see Harvey's absence as an insurmountable hurdle.

"We managed to win our last game without him and I'm sure we can do the same again," he said.

"The boys will be determined to produce the goods like last time and go out there with the positive attitude that will see us through.

"It is a shame that Ian will be missing because we are really enjoying him being about. He's been great news for us.

"But the message he sent was 'enjoy the moment and get me into the finals day'.

"He wants to be there and hopes the guys can now provide him with a place by winning tonight."

Capel explained that Harvey's illness had been particularly bad and will rule him out for quite a while.

"It's certainly knocked him out for a few days," Capel added.

"He's not going to be out of the woods for a while so, even if it was rained off tonight, he still wouldn't be available tomorrow.

"He's been pretty ill and is feeling very weak. It's a nasty virus by the sounds of it."

Harvey's absence means Stephen Peters will open the batting with Rob White.

The remaining doubt is Monty Panesar.

The spinner will need to be released by England ahead of their third Ashes Test against Australia if he is to play any part and Graeme White stands by to take his place.

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