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."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • chris on March 29, 2013, 23:02 GMT

    When Derbyshire got Kolpaks we were vilified but seems okay for the 'big' clubs to do it

  • Phillip on March 29, 2013, 12:55 GMT

    It works both ways.Foriegn players become better by playing county cricket & even the counties benefit economically.No one wants to see a bunch of nobodies take on each other.Atleast one good foreign player will certainly be good for both fans & the team.

  • Charlie on March 29, 2013, 7:58 GMT

    I don't understand the negativity surrounding Kolpak signings. If a player is good enough to get into the first XI, then he is, by definition, raising the standard of the team, which should be both to the benefit of English team mates, and English opposition. There's 18 'first class' counties, each fielding a vast majority of English players - how much more of a pool of talent is needed to develop local ability for the national side? If England were serious about this they should lift all restrictions on overseas county signings, and create a layer of 6 teams above the county set-up to feed into the national team.

  • Dummy4 on March 28, 2013, 22:57 GMT

    Do feel a little sorry for Prince sometimes. He got injured when in the best form of his life and then Duminy hit that 166 against Oz and kept him out. By the time he could get a place back in the team the moment had sort of gone...

  • Naveed on March 28, 2013, 22:54 GMT

    Why was he dropped at 1st place. He was a solid player.

  • Dummy4 on March 28, 2013, 22:38 GMT

    Oh dear! another English player missing out to a Kolpak!

  • Dummy4 on March 28, 2013, 19:23 GMT

    Smart move by Lancs. Young, developing players need old and experienced hands to develop around. Lancs have a host of relatively young and inexperienced batsmen but no senior English batsman to carry the batting. Katich and Prince will be the two rocks on which Lancs will build their batting this year and for the future.

  • John on March 28, 2013, 17:36 GMT

    This is beyond ridiculous. How long would this 'commitment' to county cricket last if he were picked for SA's next squad. Jacques Rudolph will doubtless be just as 'committed' to country cricket now he has failed in the test arena again.

    Just someone coming over for a last payday. And as usual the counties fall for it. ECB really needs to up the incentives for developing England players.

  • Tim on March 28, 2013, 17:26 GMT

    Smart move for Ashwell. He'll not play for the Proteas again so I wish him well in his county cricket endeavour. Good luck to Lancs, they've signed a very decent pro.

  • Sanjay on March 28, 2013, 15:26 GMT

    Good ole Kolpak. At least he's used it to show loyalty, he could have joined a different team in Div I. On the other hand, I've lost count of how many counties Katich has played for, he'll soon have the full set. There's a couple more like him, if you were making a 6 by 4 picture of these guys with text annotations, you'd run out of space!

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