Australian seamers Mitchell Johnson and Steve Magoffin have agreed terms to be overseas players at Durham and Sussex respectively.
Johnson – who has not played for Australia since November 2011 and has slipped down the pecking order of that country’s fast-bowlers – will partner Herschelle Gibbs at the Riverside in Durham’s Friends Life t20 side and had been linked to the overseas role at Glamorgan.
The mercurial 30 year-old left-armer has represented Australia in over 150 internationals and has a solid record in Twenty20 cricket, having taken 38 wickets from 31 matches – most of them at international level. He said of joining Durham, “I’ve heard brilliant things about Durham from Paul Collingwood when he played over in Perth (during the Big Bash League) and I’m really excited about joining up with the squad. Delivering match winning contributions is important to me and that’s not just with a focus on my bowling – all round performances in T20 are really important and I want to leave at the end of July having secured our place at Finals Day!”
Durham CCC chief executive, David Harker, added, “Mitchell is an excellent addition to our squad and he will certainly be a force to be reckoned with. One of our ambitions for 2012 is to get to t20 Finals Day and we have made the investment to bring in players that we feel will enhance our already talented squad to help us achieve that. It’ll be great for us to welcome Mitchell to the set up and I’m sure our supporters will give him, and Herschelle, a very warm north-east welcome.”
Meanwhile, Sussex have announced that they have signed Magoffin for the early part of 2012 after their efforts to bring in New Zealand seamer Tim Southee were thwarted at the eleventh hour.
Magoffin said of the deal, “I am delighted to be heading to Sussex CCC for the beginning of the county season. Sussex is one of the most successful county clubs in England in recent times, and it is an honour to be considered by them to be their overseas player. I have always enjoyed my time playing in the UK, and my wife and I are very much looking forward to our time in Hove and meeting everyone from the club".
Club captain Michael Yardy added, “Steve has been a successful bowler throughout his career and we’re very pleased that he’ll be wearing a Sussex shirt this year. His experience and skills will complement our improving bowling attack in both one-day and four-day cricket”.
The 32 year-old – who has signed until the start of the Friends Life t20 in June but is still awaiting clearance from the Home Office – has had previous county spells with Surrey and Worcestershire in 2007 and 2008, and has been in excellent form this winter for his state side Queensland in the Sheffield Shield, taking 23 wickets at an average of 16.61 from six matches.
Overall, his first-class record stands at 247 wickets taken at an average of 26.62, while he is also a more than handy lower-order batsman – scoring almost 1500 runs at 19.42 from his 73 matches.
© Cricket World 2012