Nottinghamshire have signed former Northamptonshire wicket keeper Riki Wessels as backup for club captain Chris Read.

Director of Cricket Mick Newell pursued Wessels throughout the off-season and is delighted to have agreed a two-year deal which will see him compete for a batting spot in one day cricket.

“Riki was very young when he broke into the Northamptonshire side and showed great promise which I think he’s ready to deliver on,” said Newell, who has resumed control of team affairs having returned from the England Lions tour of the West Indies.

“He’ll provide backup for Chris as a wicket keeper but beyond that he’s a one day batting option and he’ll be keen to break into the team on merit.”

The son of Kepler Wessels, the former South African Test captain who also represented Australia, Riki attracted interest from several counties last season but opted to return to Africa to secure the visa that has enabled him to return.

“Paul Franks was my teammate at Midwest Rhinos in Zimbabwe this winter and we became good friends even before it became clear that I’d be moving to Notts,” said Wessels who scored 887 first class runs for Northants in 2009.

“I want to play as much as I can and I know that I will need to push hard to force my way into the Nottinghamshire team, especially in four day cricket.”

Wessels will feature in Nottinghamshire’s two-day friendly against Surrey at Trent Bridge which begins on Tuesday.