County news July 3, 2012

Gloucestershire confirm Cowan deal

Gloucestershire are on the verge of completing negotiations with Ed Cowan, the Australia Test batsman, to play on a short-term basis ahead of the Australia A tour of England.

Cowan will be in England ahead of the tour to join his pregnant wife, Virginia Lette, an Australian TV presenter.

Gloucestershire have confirmed: "Subject to a visa being obtained, the 30-year-old Tasmania left-hander will fill the gap between Kane Williamson leaving Gloucestershire and fellow New Zealander Rob Nicol arriving later this month.

"The plan is for Cowan to play in the club's remaining Friends Life t20 group matches against Worcestershire at Bristol on Thursday, Warwickshire at Edgbaston on Friday and Northamptonshire at Northampton on Sunday.

"He will then feature in the LV=County Championship match against Essex at the Cheltenham Festival and the Clydesdale Bank 40 games against Essex and Worcestershire, which follow, before Nicol arrives for the Championship game with Leicestershire at the College Ground, starting on July 18."

Recently overlooked when Cricket Australia announced central contracts for 2012-13, Cowan will captain Australia A in two three-day matches against Derbyshire and Durham, beginning on July 27, followed by unofficial Tests against England Lions at Old Trafford and Edgbaston next month.

Bath CC had earlier hoped to field Cowan in a couple of West of England Premier League matches this month, but their efforts ran into problems.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo