County news December 11, 2012

Cowan poised for Ashes prep with Notts


Nottinghamshire are currently in talks to sign Australia batsman Ed Cowan as their overseas player for the start of the 2013 county season.

Cowan, Australia's Test opener, could be available for Notts' first seven Championship games, between tours to India and the start of the Ashes.

The signing might be viewed as a controversial one. Cowan, 30, is expected to be part of Australia's Ashes squad and will have the time to familiarise himself with English conditions ahead of the series. The first Test of the series is played at Nottinghamshire's home ground, Trent Bridge.

Cowan is no stranger to conditions in the UK. He has also had spells with Gloucestershire, scoring a century on first-class debut for them against Essex last season, Scotland (2008) and Oxford MCCU (2003), for whom he made his first-class debut. Gloucestershire were also keen for Cowan to return and are believed to have wanted him to captain the side.

Nottinghamshire struggled to find a reliable opening partnership in 2012, when they ended up finishing fifth despite setting the early pace in challenging eventual champions, Warwickshire. Their average first-wicket stand was just over 35 and Neil Edwards was released at the end of the season, after being replaced by Riki Wessels as Alex Hales' opening partner.

In the final Championship match of the season, England U-19 Sam Kelsall opened alongside Edwards, with Wessels batting at No. 3, as England call-ups and injuries stretched Notts' squad.

David Hussey, another Australia international, remains the likely candidate as Nottinghamshire's overseas player for the second half of next season, while former England bowler Ajmal Shahzad has already joined from Yorkshire.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • j on December 12, 2012, 21:55 GMT

    @jmcilhinney, oops there you go flattening randy with the facts again. Those averages make for some funny reading. The sign says 'Do Not Feed' :)

  • Phil on December 12, 2012, 14:32 GMT

    Hashim Amla played for Notts the other year and did really well. It tends to swing at Trent Bridge and so will it will probably be a really useful experience for him too.

  • Andrew on December 12, 2012, 12:31 GMT

    @ jmcilhinney on (December 12 2012, 04:20 AM GMT) - just bear in mind that the Worcs team average (not inc Hughes) was 18 in the games Hughes played, & the opposition was 35. Delving further into Hughes's County season, he mainly batted in the 1st innings of the match, the opposition was often batting on the comparatively easier 4th innings.

  • Gary on December 12, 2012, 11:26 GMT

    Don't worry about poor old RandyOz, he hasn't got a clue. He won't be around for a while due to Aus getting a beating by SA recently

    All joking asiide though and as an England supporter I am really worried about Hughes and Cowan potentially opening the batting for Australia.......

    As for the 'weak' county system in England, it continues to produce world class youngsters. You only have to look at the 'big bash' to see how seriously Aus are taking their cricket these days. Bring on the Ashes, can't wait.

  • Sean on December 12, 2012, 9:22 GMT

    I suppose the aussies will need all the help they can get considering they havent won a series in England for over a decade.

  • Andrew on December 12, 2012, 8:36 GMT

    @ maximum6 on (December 11 2012, 22:14 PM GMT) "...There is no Shane Warne or Glenn Mcgrath or even Brett Lee..." - thanks for clearing that up! Have you been a coma for 5 years? == == == So many comments, with nothing intelligent to say!

  • John on December 12, 2012, 4:20 GMT

    @RandyOZ on (December 11 2012, 13:16 PM GMT), oh absolutely, just like Worcs were top of the table last year thanks to Phil Hughes averaging a world-beating 35. At least Khawaja managed to average 44, but that was in division 2. You do realise that Jonny Bairstow, whom you've assured us is not Test material, averaged 53 in that same division 2 competition, right? These are the players who are going to win Australia the next Ashes? I'll just start quaking now, shall I?

  • Ben on December 12, 2012, 3:38 GMT

    Good move Cowan. It's great to see that he is serious about putting in the hard yards required to reclaimi the trophy that is rightfully ours. Bring on the Poms!

  • Jason on December 12, 2012, 3:22 GMT

    @Front_foot_lunge, I actually said the same of Starc being employed by Yorks last year..It could be a two edged sword in that it would give the 'bowlers' union chance to work home over a little and locate any weakness, or it could give him the confidence and familiarisation with the conditions. I wonder how many shield sides would offer one of englands test players a 7 game contract ahead of an Ashes campaign in Aus, at best they might pick up a grade cricket contract, if they were lucky.

  • Andrew on December 12, 2012, 0:57 GMT

    @WilliamFranklin on (December 11 2012, 13:57 PM GMT) - sorry dude -it's the Currie Cup "...brings through players that destroy Australia..." for England!!!

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