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Yorkshire face Starc choice

David Hopps

April 18, 2012

Comments: 27 | Text size: A | A

Mitchell Starc took 2 for 30, Australia v New Zealand, second Test, Hobart, day one, December 9 2011
Mitchell Starc has thus far been unused on Australia's tour of the Caribbean © Getty Images
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Yorkshire are close to a deal with Mitchell Starc, Australia's up-and-coming fast bowler, as their coach, Jason Gillespie acts to strengthen the club's pace bowling resources after an indifferent start to their Division Two campaign.

It took Gillespie just one Championship match to decide that Yorkshire needed an overseas fast bowler if they are to regain their Division One status at the first time of asking. Although Martyn Moxon, Yorkshire's director of cricket, said there was "nothing definite", discussions are well advanced over Starc's arrival at Headingley.

Starc, a left-arm quick capped three times at Test level, is with the Australia squad in the West Indies but he has not been selected for the first two Tests. He was also omitted from Australia's party for the preceding one-day series and so could be bursting for some cricket when the final Test ends in Dominica on April 27.

Gillespie needs no reminding of Headingley's reputation for favouring swing bowlers and Starc, 22, is eager to hone his skills in swinging the ball after benefiting early in the New Year from some guidance from the former Pakistan allrounder, Wasim Akram. Whether Yorkshire, deep in debt, can afford him, however, remains to be seen.

Moxon said: "We are looking at a few options and I'm hoping that something might happen in the next few days. At the moment, however, we've got nothing definite. The problem with trying to sign an overseas player is that the process, invariably, is never straightforward.

"It was in our thoughts anyway to look for an overseas player, but I think that has been probably stepped up a bit after the first game. We weren't at our best with the ball against Kent. The lads are working hard and trying very hard, but we have struggled to maintain that pressure with the ball."

Starc's Australian representatives would not confirm negotiations, but the 5 Oceans Management website is clear that he is eager for an opportunity after an inactive Caribbean tour, stating: "Unfortunately Mitchell has not been required in a game yet, but he is keeping very fit, constantly training hard in the nets and learning new skills around the Australian team. Hopefully an opportunity presents itself soon, as Mitchell is sure to take it with both hands."

It was a ninth-wicket stand of 153 between Kent's Matt Coles, who made a maiden first-class hundred, and Mark Davies that convinced Yorkshire that for all their financial woes they would have to act. Another problematic game against Leeds/Bradford MCCU, which at one stage Yorkshire looked like losing, added to the county's fears.

Iain Wardlaw, who struggled against Kent, is likely to be replaced by Steve Patterson as Yorkshire reshuffle their pace attack against Essex at Headingley on Thursday.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Trickstar on (April 19, 2012, 20:16 GMT)

@jonesy2 I think you're right for once, he would be better off playing club cricket in zimbabwe or canada because that's his level and he's coming from a very similar standard of cricket to that in Zimbabwe which is the Sheffield Shield, which is dire beyond belief, saying the standard is poor is doing it a favor.

Posted by Simoc on (April 19, 2012, 14:57 GMT)

Starc is a beginner still and shows good potential. But he has a way to go. This would be an opportunity for him to improve and gain confidence in England. The money comes later if he is up to it. He's not at present.

Posted by Meety on (April 19, 2012, 12:05 GMT)

@ Mitcher - on fire!!!!!!

Posted by jonesy2 on (April 19, 2012, 9:24 GMT)

division two? he is way too good for that considering he is better than every single bowler in england. he would be better off playing club cricket in zimbabwe or canada

Posted by jonesy2 on (April 19, 2012, 9:21 GMT)

oh starcy will dominate it will be a great mission for him. i hope he plays in the last test against the windies

Posted by Mitcher on (April 19, 2012, 4:02 GMT)

@YorkshireQueenslander: there are so few Shield teams, the states don't need foreigners generally to prop up their stocks. There are plenty of examples of foreigners playing Sydney Grade though. Probably a more comparable comp to the county championship.

Posted by Meety on (April 19, 2012, 3:56 GMT)

@YorkshireQueenslander - judging by your handle, its time the QLD government banned all foreigners from living in the state! LOL! @hris if Magoffin can get a 6 or 7 for the other day, Starc will do very well in the Old Dart me thinks!

Posted by YorkshireQueenslander on (April 18, 2012, 23:30 GMT)

Time the ECB put a stop to overseas players from countries due to tour from playing the previous season and current season of the tour! Rest of the test playing countries do it…look at the shield comp not a foreigner in sight!

Posted by Aussasinator on (April 18, 2012, 18:38 GMT)

Gradually the English are teaching the Aussies the art of swing bowling. There go the Ashes.

Posted by   on (April 18, 2012, 17:22 GMT)

Digging up Fred Trueman would give us more chance of taking wickets than picking the ineffectual Iain Wardlaw, who seems to have got a contract due to the fact he's the skipper's mate.

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David Hopps David Hopps joined ESPNcricinfo as UK editor early in 2012. For the previous 20 years he was a senior cricket writer for the Guardian and covered England extensively during that time in all Test-playing nations. He also covered four Olympic Games and has written several cricket books, including collections of cricket quotations. He has been an avid amateur cricketer since he was 12, and so knows the pain of repeated failure only too well. The pile of untouched novels he plans to read, but rarely gets around to, is now almost touching the ceiling. He divides his time between the ESPNcricinfo office in Hammersmith and his beloved Yorkshire.
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