June 15, 2000

Reiffel signs with Nottinghamshire

Louise Robson

LONDON, June 15 AAP - English county cricket side Nottinghamshire has moved quickly to replace injured fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, signing Victorian captain Paul Reiffel as their overseas player for the rest of the 2000 season.

Paul Reiffel @copy; AllSport Nottinghamshire manager Clive Rice said Reiffel would arrive in the UK on Monday and make his debut on Wednesday against Middlesex at Lord's in the NatWest Trophy.

Rice said Nottinghamshire was impressed by the 34-year-old seam bowler's record after he captained Victoria to victory and took 59 wickets with an average of 16 runs in the last season of Australia's domestic first class competition.

"We're getting a really experienced player and his accuracy is exactly what we are looking for in our matches at Trent Bridge and the pitches of England," said Rice, who compared his new acquisition to Richard Hadlee, New Zealand's champion wicket-taker of the 1980s.

"He can also contribute to the batting in the middle order.

"He's a match-winner and we're looking forward to having him in the team."

Reiffel's availability for the rest of the season was another plus.

"He's not contracted to the Australian board and won't be going back for Australia's matches against South Africa in August," Rice said.

Reiffel's arrival brings the number of Australians in the county championship to 13.

A member of Australia's World Cup winning side last year, he has 35 Test caps and has made 92 one-day international appearances.

Pakistan strike bowler Akhtar's lucrative county cricket contract was cancelled last week through injury before he had a chance to play.

Nottinghamshire plan to rehabilitate Akhtar, who suffered a rib injury bowling for Pakistan in Sharjah and Rice has offered to work with him to improve his bowling.