County news October 29, 2013

Northants complete squad with Jackson Bird

ESPNcricinfo staff

Northamptonshire have signed Australia fast bowler Jackson Bird for 2014, completing their squad for their return to Division One of the County Championship next season.

Another Australian, Trent Copeland, was a major factor in Northants winning promotion last season and the club hope Bird will have a similar impact to help them survive in the top division.

Copeland could not obtain a work visa for 2014 but Bird, who could feature in the upcoming Ashes, has no such issues and has signed a deal to play ten Championship matches and seven Twenty20s.

Bird, 26, has taken 109 first-class wickets at 20.77 and earned three Test caps, the last of which was against England at Durham in August.

Chief executive David Smith said Bird's signing completed the club's recruitment for next season. They have also added fast bowler Maurice Chambers, released by Essex having spent most of 2013 on loan at Warwickshire, and spinner Graeme White, who returns to the county he began his career with after a brief sojourn at Nottinghamshire.

Allrounders Steven Crook and the highly-rated David Willey are among a host of other players to have signed new deals at Wantage Road.

"The club has demonstrated following promotion to Division One, its desire to retain its best players and carefully recruit players that we believe will strengthen the current squad within its cricket playing budget," Smith said.

"Along with the significant recent investment into ground facilities, the club now believes it is making real progress towards becoming a county that all members, supporters and players can be really proud of."