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February 14, 2013
Warwickshire have signed Oliver Hannon-Dalby, the 23-year-old seamer, for the 2013 season. He has been on trial at Edgbaston for several weeks having been given permission from his previous club, Yorkshire, to talk to other counties.
Warwickshire's strong bowling attack was a crucial ingredient in leading them to the County Championship in 2012. With the likes of Chris Woakes, Boyd Rankin, Rikki Clarke, Chris Wright and Keith Barker already competing for places, it may prove hard for Hannon-Dalby to win a first team place.
But Warwickshire are keen not to over exert any of their seamers and aware that they could be weakened by England call-ups during the season. Hannon-Dalby's current record is modest - he has a first-class bowling average of 45.06 after 24 games - but he is blessed with great height at 6ft 8in tall and claimed a five-wicket haul against Warwickshire at the start of the 2010 season.
Warwickshire hope that he will benefit from working with the club's highly-rated bowling coach - Graeme Welch - in the same way that Wright and Barker have done in recent seasons. Both men claimed more than 50 first-class wickets in 2012 having arrived at the club with equally modest reputations.
"With Woakes, Wright, Rankin and Clarke all featuring in England's winter touring squads, it's essential that we're prepared for more call-ups in the summer," Warwickshire's new director of cricket, Dougie Brown, said. "So Oliver is a great addition to the squad.
"Whilst he's struggled to consistently hold a place in the Yorkshire first XI, we recognise that his ability to swing the ball from such a great height adds something different to our pace attack. He's working well with Graeme Welch and we hope he can continue to develop here in the same way that our current fast bowlers have."
Hannon-Dalby developed through the Yorkshire Academy and made his first-class debut in 2008. Despite a promising season in 2010, he struggled for opportunity in 2012 and has now been released from his Yorkshire contract a year early. He has played little limited-overs cricket and has few pretensions as a batsman. He will join Warwickshire officially at the start of March and will travel to Barbados on the club's pre-season tour.
"Warwickshire were outstanding in first-class and one-day cricket last season and whilst I'm sad to be leaving my home county, I'm very excited about the new challenge ahead and joining up with my new team mates," he said. "The new facilities at Edgbaston are among the best in world cricket and we've got a great squad that's capable of challenging for honours in all formats of the game.
"With the support of the Warwickshire coaching team, Chris Wright and Keith Barker were two of the best bowlers on the county circuit in 2012 and I hope that by working hard in all areas that I can develop and enjoy similar levels of success to them."
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: George Dobell
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