James Neesham, the New Zealand allrounder, hit 75 not out off 30 balls on his Northamptonshire debut on Wednesday night in the Vitality Blast but has revealed that he had woken up in France on the morning of the game.
Neesham flew to the UK from India with his compatriot and Rajasthan Royals team-mate Trent Boult on Monday but a complication with his visa saw him make the short journey to Paris in order to sort out his paperwork before he returned to Northampton a few hours before their fixture against Leicestershire at Wantage Road.

“I actually mucked my visa up a little bit, so I had to fly to Paris after I got here,” Neesham told Northamptonshire’s YouTube channel, SteelbacksTV. “I woke up this morning and had an omelette du fromage [cheese omelette] in Paris, then hopped on a plane and landed at about midday.

“I got a bit of sleep and then came to the ground. I was thinking if I could get through three or four overs and have no injuries and have a bit of a hit, I’d be pretty happy.”

Instead, Neesham hit five fours and six sixes, sharing an unbroken partnership of 118 off 53 balls with Chris Lynn, who made 106 not out. With the ball, he then took 2 for 26 from his three overs and Northants defended their 227 for 1 with ease.

“When you come into a new team, you want to prove your worth in the first couple of games,” Neesham said. “I’ve been watching from afar and Lynny’s done that already so far in the tournament. So it’s just a real pleasure to come out and, first of all, get the win, and spend a bit of time with one of my mates out in the middle and have a good time.

“Lynny is fantastic. He’s one of the best ball-strikers in the world – probably one of the best ball-strikers in the history of T20, to be honest. We’ve spent a lot of time together at different teams, and we enjoy each other’s company a lot. It’s just fun, really, being out there with him.

“He’s a strong man. If you see him up close, he’s got some big arms on him and he’s a very stocky, well-built guy. With T20 cricket these days and the big sixes that are being hit, everyone talks about the bats but no-one talks about the extra work guys are doing in the gym these days to be more powerful and more explosive. He’s probably testament to that.”

Neesham is due to play throughout the rest of the Blast season – though he is not expecting to prepare with a French breakfast again. “I’m more interested in finding a beef burger after being in India for nine-and-a-half weeks,” he joked. “We’ll check off that one first and see about the omelettes afterwards.”