Essex have signed Australia top-order batsman Rob Quiney as their overseas player for at least the first half of the 2013 county season. Quiney has initially signed until the end of the Friends Life t20, but could be available for longer if he doesn’t make Australia’s Ashes squad.
Essex head coach Paul Grayson explained: "We'll revisit the situation after the T20 because obviously Australia are touring over here and he wants to try and make a big impression with them. I've met Rob and spoken to him a few times, he's a quality player and a very good man who comes highly recommended from some good people that we know.
"He's desperate to play county cricket which is great for us and he comes across as an extremely good team player as well and we are delighted to bring him to the club. It's an exciting signing and I'm sure he will have a positive impact on the team."
30 year-old Quiney, a left-handed opening batsmen who also bowls occasional medium-pace spoke of his delight at joining Essex.
"I am delighted to have signed to play for Essex this summer," Quiney said. "The 2012-13 season has been an amazing one for me, fulfilling my ambition of playing international cricket and I am now able to achieve one of my other major cricketing ambitions by playing county cricket. Having spoken to Paul Grayson, I am very excited about the plans for Essex this season and I look forward to helping our drive to securing silverware in 2013."
Quiney’s international career has thus far been short and not particularly sweet. He was brought into the Test side in November 2012 as a replacement for the injured Shane Watson, but made just nine. In the next match he made a pair and hasn’t played since. Nonetheless, he is known to be well thought of by the Australian hierarchy and had an exemplary Sheffield Shield season in 2011-12.
Quiney is likely to take his place in the top three of Essex’s batting line-up, either as cover for Owais Shah and Ravi Bopara early in the season at number three, or as a replacement for one of their young openers, Jaik Mickleburgh or Tom Westley.
Last season, Essex employed Alviro Petersen as their overseas player for the first part of the season, but he has since signed for Somerset for 2013.
In other news, the MCC have announced the majority of the players who will feature in the Champion County match against Warwickshire in Abu Dhabi in March. They are: Dale Benkenstein (captain), Jimmy Adams, Joe Denly, Simon Kerrigan, Steve Kirby, Dawid Malan, Sam Northeast, Alan Richardson, Peter Trego. Former Indian and Australian internationals Rahul Dravid and Shaun Tait will feature for the MCC in the earlier Emirates T20 Trophy games alongside the four-day squad with the exception of Simon Kerrigan.
© Cricket World 2013
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