Leicestershire have signed young Queensland and Australia A batsman Joe Burns as cover for overseas player Ramnaresh Sarwan for part of the 2013 season.
Sarwan is only expected to be available for the first five and last four LV= County Championship matches due to international commitments. He had expected to be available for the entire season and was made the club’s captain on that understanding. However, he was unexpectedly recalled by the West Indies and is likely to play for them in the Champions Trophy in England in June.
Burns is one of Australia’s brightest young batting prospects and is the current Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year. The 23 year-old recently scored 114 for Australia’s A team as they thrashed the England Lions 4-0 in a series of unofficial ODIs.
"I'm very excited to get the opportunity to join Leicestershire for the 2013 season,” Burns said. “In my discussions with the staff of LCCC, I feel this is a fantastic opportunity personally for myself to continue to develop my cricket and to perform at the highest level. I've heard great things about the club’s setup and players and I am very motivated with the ambition of promotion in the county championship.”
Burns will link up with Leicestershire on 15th May and will play for them in all formats until his departure in August. He will then travel with Brisbane Heat to the 2013 Champions League.
Unusually for county cricket, Burns will become an overseas player without having first played international cricket. Normally, it is required that a player must have represented his country at senior level a minimum number of times before he can qualify for a visa to work in the UK. However, Burns is believed to possess an Italian passport so is eligible as an EU worker. He does not, however, qualify as a local player.
The club are expected to announce Shakib Al Hasan as their second overseas player for the Friends Life t20 in the coming days.
Sussex have completed their overseas line-up for the Friends Life t20 by signing Australia, Victoria and Melbourne Stars all-rounder John Hastings. Hastings played one Test for Australia this winter and has also played 14 limited-overs internationals. He will join former New Zealand international Scott Styris in the county’s twenty20 side.
Hastings said of his forthcoming stint: “I’m really looking forward to getting over to Sussex and joining up with the Sharks, as well as meeting everyone at the club. I can’t wait for the opportunity to help the team in going one step further this season. It has always been a huge goal of mine to play in an English summer, and I couldn’t be happier about my upcoming time at Sussex.”
Sussex’s Professional Cricket Manager Mark Robinson said, “We’re delighted to have John on board. Both Matt (Prior) and Luke (Wright) have played with him during the Big Bash and both pushed hard for us to approach John for this year’s competition. He is a skilful bowler and a hard-hitting lower order batter, with a great reputation as a person and should be a perfect fit for the club”.
Australian-born Sam Robson has signed a contract extension with Middlesex, which will see him play for them until at least the end of 2014.
Robson, who played for Australia Under-19 in nine One-Day Internationals, made his Middlesex first-team debut in 2008 and his first-class debut in 2009.
Managing Director of Cricket at Middlesex, Angus Fraser, commented on Robson’s new deal: “We are delighted that Sam has agreed to sign a contract extension with the club. Sam has made real progress in the last two to three years and we believe he has a long and bright future with Middlesex CCC.
Sam is one of a group of young cricketers to have committed himself to Middlesex and we hope these players continue to take the club in the right direction and allow it to compete for domestic honours in the coming years.”
Robson, 23, opened for Middlesex in all but one of their LV= County Championship matches in 2012, averaging a disappointing 26.81. He didn’t play for them at all in either the Clydesdale Bank 40 of Friends Life t20. Overall, he has a strong first-class average of 37.09.
© Cricket World 2013
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