County news January 5, 2012

Hughes extends Worcestershire stay

ESPNcricinfo staff

Phillip Hughes will spend the entire 2012 season at Worcestershire after extending his contract with the county. Hughes, the 23-year-old Australia opener who was dropped from the Test team after a disappointing series against New Zealand, had originally agreed to join Worcestershire in June but has now agreed to arrive in the UK at the start of April.

The attractions of the relationship are obvious to both parties. Hughes, whose technique has been exposed somewhat at international level, will have plenty of opportunity to learn to deal with the moving ball in English conditions, while Worcestershire's brittle batting will be boosted by the addition of a player good enough to have scored two centuries in a Test against a formidable South African attack. Hughes' presence at New Road for the entire season will also alleviate the disruption sometimes caused by the short-term nature of many modern overseas player contracts.

"We are delighted to have available a player of Phil's stature for the whole 2012 season," said Worcestershire's director of cricket, Steve Rhodes. "This was our original plan when we first set out in search of Phil's signature and it will give the dressing room a real boost. Having spoken to Phil he views playing a full English season as a fantastic opportunity to score plenty of runs and in turn, it is hoped this will bring success to the team. We are looking forward to him joining up with the squad at the start of April for what will be an exciting 2012 season."

Hughes also expressed his delight. "I'm thrilled to have been able to agree terms with Worcestershire to extend my 2012 contract to the full county season," he said. "I haven't played a full season of domestic cricket for more than two years and I can't wait to get to England and meet my new team-mates. I've heard so many positive things about their structure, environment and wicket which are all really favourable for what I want to achieve in the coming 12 months."

Meanwhile Gareth Andrew will miss the start of the season after undergoing knee surgery. Andrew, the 28-year-old all-rounder, who finished the 2011 season second in county cricket's Most Valuable Player ratings, underwent micro-fracture treatment in early December. Worcestershire do not expect him to be match fit until late May.

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  • Aidan on January 8, 2012, 6:58 GMT

    Just watched - a vid of his maiden test century as a 19 yr old against NSW - can't believe what Aus officials have done to him

  • Randolph on January 8, 2012, 4:35 GMT

    @barneybent - classic! Langer is useless. Phil will tear the English attacks apart, especially considering how weak the county system is

  • Andrew on January 7, 2012, 9:49 GMT

    @AidanFX - agree 100%. He needs to go back to the beginning - spend heaps of time with deCosta when he can! @BarneyBent - LOL! Great work JL!

  • stuart on January 6, 2012, 16:52 GMT

    Why did they waste their money? Get a young English batsman in.

  • Joey on January 6, 2012, 14:55 GMT

    Interesting batting stance he's employing in that photo there. Must be JL's work.

  • Dummy4 on January 6, 2012, 12:22 GMT

    Worcestershire continue to do the job with overseas players. Rhodes has made a series of excellent choices in the past few years. Zak, Shakib and now Hughes. ALl have benefitted greatly from their time (Zak enthused about it changing his international career and turning his bowling around) It won't be easy for Hughes - but a full season is right for both parties - relationships with team mates are important, and 5-6 months on the road will prove a hard but worthwhile investment for PH i'm sure.

  • Alan on January 6, 2012, 12:06 GMT

    We seem to have had this discussion before in December, when Hughes was signed for June: it's notable that Rhodes then bragged about having signed the "current Australian international opener", whereas now they "are delighted to have available a player of Phil's stature" ... Seriously I do wish Hughes well and think he could do very well for Worcestershire: @spence1324, Hughes was playing for Middlesex 'in the early part of the season' in 2009, and swing or no swing, the '"Australian" batsman' did pretty well then ...

  • Bryn on January 6, 2012, 10:24 GMT

    go get those runs phil. come back an even better player. dont know why most young aussie batsmen wouldnt be doing the same thing.

  • david on January 6, 2012, 8:11 GMT

    Word of warning the ball swings all over the shop in the early part of the season,not good for an 'Australian' batsman.....

  • NIgel on January 6, 2012, 8:09 GMT

    he needs this to be able to perfom at the international fornt..

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