County news April 18, 2012

Yorkshire face Starc choice


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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • paul 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.

  • Simon 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.

  • Andrew on April 19, 2012, 12:05 GMT

    @ Mitcher - on fire!!!!!!

  • Bryn 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

  • Bryn 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

  • Mick 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.

  • Andrew 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!

  • David 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!

  • Subba on April 18, 2012, 18:38 GMT

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

  • Dummy4 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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