Yorkshire have confirmed the signing of fast-bowler Liam Plunkett from Durham on a three-year contract. Speculation had been growing in recent weeks about Plunkett's move to Headingley following a disastrous 2012 season with Durham, and Yorkshire's coach Martyn Moxon confirmed the news this morning, saying, "I know Liam well from my time in Durham. A wholehearted cricketer with considerable talent he brings experience and quality to the Yorkshire side as we head back to the First Division of the LV= County Championship. He is still only 27 and I'm sure Yorkshire can further assist his development and help him achieve his ambitions within the game. I look forward to working with him again."
Plunkett said, "I am delighted to be joining Yorkshire for next season. I felt the time was right for a new challenge in my career and the opportunity to join one of the biggest clubs in the country was too good to turn down. Martyn Moxon was head coach at Durham when I made my debut for the county and also when I made my England debut and the opportunity to work under him again and also under Jason Gillespie is very exciting."
Plunkett, who joins fellow fast-bowler Jack Brooks in moving to Yorkshire in recent days, has played 39 times for England in all forms of the game, most recently against Australia in February 2011, and spoke of his desire to once again play for his country, saying, "I have been fortunate enough to represent my country as recently as last year and there is no doubt I want to pull on an England shirt again. I strongly believe I have what it takes to play at the highest level again and I feel Yorkshire is the best environment to help me achieve this."
Last season, Plunkett played 15 matches for Durham, taking just 10 wickets at an average of 44. A high-salaried player, his departure will help Durham remain below the salary cap imposed on all counties by the ECB and which Durham breached at the end of last season, resulting in a points deduction for all three competitions for the 2013 season.
Seam bowling all-rounder Jonathan Clare has become the latest player to agree a new three-year contract with Derbyshire. He follows hot on the heels of Ross Whiteley and Tony Palladino in agreeing contract extensions with the newly-promoted club.
Derbyshire head coach Karl Krikken spoke glowingly of Clare, saying, “Jon has the ability to bowl quickly and accurately, and when he's batting he can make first-class centuries. It's a rare combination and one we're delighted to be keeping hold of for the foreseeable future.
“He is the latest of our established cricketers to recently commit to the club and more will follow as the implementation of our cricket strategy continues.”
Nottinghamshire have signed England all-rounder Samit Patel on a new three-year contract, meaning that the 27 year-old will remain at Trent Bridge until at least the end of the 2015 season.
Patel endured a disappointing LV= County Championship campaign in 2012 - averaging 27.42 with the bat and 38.29 with the ball - but fared considerably better in both the Clydesdale Bank 40 and Friends Life t20 competitions. He is a key part of the Nottinghamshire line-up in all three forms of the game, as well as having established himself in England's limited-overs sides.
“We were very keen to secure Samit’s services because his batting ability and bowling option gives our side balance,” said Nottinghamshire Director of Cricket Mick Newell. “Samit’s presence allows us to pick the team that we want to pick and when he's not around there is no like for like replacement and that leads to multiple changes. We fully expect that he will spend some time with England but we are definitely a better side when he’s around.”
Patel added, “I think that we have enough talent and depth in our squad to win trophies consistently and I want to play my part in that. This is the only county that I want to play for and I am pleased to have had the opportunity to commit for another three seasons.”
According to reports in the Pakistani media, Abdur Rehman is facing a possible ban after testing positive for recreational drugs during his time playing for Somerset towards the end of the 2012 county season. During his time at the club, Rehman impressed both Somerset's fans and their coaching staff with his commitment to the cause, which included catching an overnight flight back from the UAE in order to play in Somerset's LV= County Championship match the following day.
Rehman was due to play for the Sialkot Stallions in the forthcoming Champions League T20 which begins on 9th October in Johannesburg, but that has now been thrown into doubt. A formal announcement regarding Rehman is expected within the next 24 hours.
Essex chief executive David East will leave the club at the end of 2012 to take on a similar role at Abu Dhabi Cricket Club. The 53 year-old former wicket-keeper batsman will end his 30-year association with the club and called the decision a "wrench" adding, "I've had a fabulous time here, I'm leaving on very good terms. Obviously it's been a large part of my life."
Jonny Bairstow has withdrawn from Yorkshire's Champions League T20 squad after deciding that rest ahead of England's busy winter, which begins in India later this month, is the best course of action in order to deal with a wrist injury. He has been replaced by 18 year-old Eddie Wilson in Yorkshire's squad, with Dan Hodgson expected to take the gloves for the Tykes.
Meanwhile, Hampshire and Danny Briggs have decided that the 21 year-old will play no part in his county's Champions League T20 campaign. Briggs was due to be available for the latter part of the competition following his wedding, but he and Hampshire have decided that he will miss the entire competition with seamer David Balcombe taking his place in their squad.
Surrey have signed three young players on new contracts. All-rounder Zafar Ansari has signed a three-year deal, the first of which will be a summer contract as he completes his studies at Cambridge University, while seam bowler Tom Jewell has penned a one-year deal and wicket-keeper batsman Rory Burns a two-year one.
Speaking about the trio, Surrey Team Director Chris Adams said: “Players like these three represent the future of Surrey CCC. They are all young, hungry and have played for the club for many years. As we have seen already this season, they all possess the qualities required to have long county careers and I look forward to working with them in the future to bring continued success to the club.”
© Cricket World 2012