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16th-20th May: 1st Test, Lord's
Hampshire have moved on from their disappointment at failing to re-sign former Australian batsman Simon Katich as their overseas player, and have instead signed his countryman George Bailey for what they hope will be the majority of the 2013 season.
They have also announced that Neil McKenzie will return to the club for another season, although he will again not arrive until June to give him a break following his winter playing for South Africa’s Lions franchise.
Bilal Shafayat, who played for the club on a “pay-as-you-play” deal last year has not been retained. Shafayat scored 289 runs at an average of 28.9 in nine matches for Hampshire in 2012.
Bailey will link up with Hampshire at the start of the season, and, unless he is called up by Australia for their Ashes campaign, shouldn’t be needed by his country until 29th August, when he will captain them in the first of two Twenty20 Internationals against England. Australia then play five One-Day Internationals in which Bailey is expected to feature.
Bailey hasn’t experienced county cricket before, other than playing for Scotland in the 2007 and 2010 limited-overs competitions, but said that he was looking forward to joining a club that won two trophies in 2012:
"I've heard a lot of good reports about Hampshire as a county and am really looking forward to playing there next year. It's my first time playing for a county and the talks with Giles White have been very positive. I can see the guys did very well last year, and knowing that I'm joining a side that has tasted a lot of success in recent times but wants to get even better is a real attraction.”
Hampshire manager, Giles White said, “We are excited by the arrival of George, who fits the age profile of the squad well and adds further leadership and batting quality to the group. We hope that this is the start of an ongoing relationship and that he plays a part in shaping the future fortunes of the club.”
County Cricket News In Brief:
The ECB have announced that the 2013 county fixtures will be announced on Monday afternoon.
Durham have extended the contract of seam-bowler Chris Rushworth until the end of the 2014 season.
As expected, Glamorgan have confirmed that Marcus North will be their limited-overs captain next season. Mark Wallace will remain in charge in four-day cricket.
Lancashire all-rounder Tom Smith has admitted that he may have to cut down the amount of bowling that he does in the future if he is to avoid the kind of injury problems that blighted his 2012 season.
Marcus Trescothick has agreed a new three-year deal with Somerset, which should see him end his playing career with the club for whom he debuted in 1993.
© Cricket World 2012
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