Yorkshire and former England all-rounder Anthony McGrath has chosen to announce his retirement from county cricket at the age of 37 rather than to try and continue his career elsewhere after his contract at Headingley looked unlikely to be renewed and he was left battling a thumb injury.
McGrath, who played four Test matches and 14 One-Day Internationals for England between 2003 and 2004, said, “It has been an honour and a privilege to have represented Yorkshire throughout my professional career. I have been involved with this great club every summer since I was 12 and it is going to be difficult not having the opportunity to play again.
“I would like to thank the club, the members and the all the coaches for their help throughout my career. Above all else, my last word goes to my team-mates, who I have shared the greatest of times with over the past 20 years. I have met some great people that have become my closest of friends.”
Martyn Moxon, Yorkshire’s Director of Cricket, added, "Anthony McGrath has been a great servant to Yorkshire County Cricket Club. It has been a privilege to play with and coach Anthony. He has given every ounce of blood, sweat and tears to the county and his role within the dressing room will be sadly missed. He is the perfect role model for any aspiring junior wanting to be the best they can be. The way he inspires those around him is his distinct quality. I would like to wish him well in the future and hope that he will continue his connection to the club through his coach education qualifications and programme.”
The highlights of McGrath’s 18-year career include being part of the 2001 Championship-winning side; captaining Yorkshire for several seasons in the 2000s; and averaging around 60 in first-class cricket in 2005 and 2006.
Northamptonshire have finally signed an overseas player for the first half of the season. New South Wales and former Australia seam-bowler Trent Copeland will link up with the club ahead of their first LV= County Championship match against Glamorgan on 10th April and play six further Championship matches and six Yorkshire Bank 40 matches before he departs on 8th June.
“We are delighted to welcome Trent to Northants," Head Coach David Ripley said. "It's not been a straightforward journey but he was the first player we approached in October about becoming our overseas bowler for the first part of the season and with a few twists and turns he is now coming.
"Everybody I have spoken to about Trent - Michael Hussey, Cameron White and Matt Nicholson to name three, have been consistent with their opinion - skilful, accurate, long spells, should be perfectly suited to early-season conditions in England and a top bloke. He has a first rate record in Australian state cricket and we are looking forward to him shaping our season in the two months he is with us. It hasn't gone unnoticed that he has just scored his maiden first class century too."
As Ripley alluded to, Northamptonshire’s search for an overseas player this winter has been an immensely frustrating one. Copeland was the first to be formally approached, but nothing materialised, with the retired Mike Hussey then understood to have been sounded out about a return to Wantage Road. He also turned them down, as did South African all-rounder Rory Kleinveldt at the eleventh hour of negotiations.
Northamptonshire re-signed Cameron White as their overseas player for the Friends Life t20 earlier this month.
County Cricket News In Brief:
Former players from Northamptonshire and Gloucestershire will contest a 12-over memorial match in honour of Zimbabwe’s Kevin Curran, who collapsed and died while jogging in Zimbabwe in October. Curran played for Gloucestershire between 1985 and 1990 and for Northamptonshire between 1991 and 1999. The match, held at Wantage Road before the Friends Life t20 game against Glamorgan on 14th July, will raise money for the British Heart Foundation.
Hampshire spinner Danny Briggs is confident that he will be fit for the club’s pre-season tour to Barbados, which begins in three weeks time. He was ruled out of the Twenty20 International series between England and New Zealand after picking up an ankle injury while training in India before Christmas.
Warwickshire batsman Sam Hain will miss the first month of the county season after suffering a shoulder injury while playing club cricket in his native Australia this winter. The Bears also have concerns over Boyd Rankin, who is taking longer than expected to recover from a foot injury.
© Cricket World 2013
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