County news March 28, 2013

Prince turns back on SA for Lancs

ESPNcricinfo staff

Ashwell Prince, the South Africa batsman, appears set to rule himself out of international contention in order to rejoin Lancashire as a Kolpak player. Lancashire, who already have Simon Katich on board as their overseas signing, said Prince's two-year contract was "subject to successful visa and registration applications".

The 35-year-old Prince has not been selected for South Africa in over a year and is no longer centrally contracted. Last season, as Lancashire's overseas player, Prince scored 1008 runs at 43.82 and was the county's leading batsman by a long stretch as they were relegated to Division Two the season after winning the Championship.

"I'm delighted to announce that I will be returning to Lancashire for the next two seasons," Prince said. "Whilst I had been approached by teams in Division One, I feel that I was part of the team that went down last season and I want to be part of the team that is going to fight our way back to where we belong. I look forward to seeing all at the club soon."

Prince first joined Lancashire in 2009 as cover for VVS Laxman and since then has scored nearly 2000 first-class runs at 45.09 for the county. In 66 Tests for South Africa, he averaged 41.64, with 11 hundreds. He is expected to be available to play for Lancashire in all three formats in his fourth spell at Old Trafford.

"I am delighted that Ashwell is to continue his association with us," the Lancashire director of cricket, Mike Watkinson, said. "He has had an outstanding international career and has a lot to offer our squad both on and off the field."

Lancashire's head coach, Peter Moores, added: "Ashwell's commitment to Lancashire has always been strong and his return is a real boost to the whole squad. His experience will be invaluable to me as a coach and he will help to accelerate the development of some of our most talented home grown players."