County news March 17, 2014

Hastings signs for Durham

ESPNcricinfo staff

Defending county champions Durham have signed John Hastings, the Victoria and Australia pace bowler, as their overseas player for the bulk of the 2014 season.

Hastings, who has played one Test for Australia alongside 11 ODIs and three T20s, will be available once his IPL stint with Chennai Super Kings has concluded in early June.

In Victoria's 2013-14 Sheffield Shield campaign he was their leading wicket-taker with 27 scalps at 25.00 and also made 276 runs at 19.71. In the Big Bash League he claimed 13 wickets in nine matches with an economy rate of 6.15.

First team coach Jon Lewis said: "We are excited about the arrival of John, he is skilful with the ball and can also contribute well with the bat. He will be a strong addition with the red and white ball and we look forward to welcoming him to Durham."

Durham are likely to lose Ben Stokes to England duty during the season - once he recovers from the broken wrist he suffered when punching a locker in West Indies - while Graham Onions may feature in the Test side. Hastings will add experience to the seam attack alongside Chris Rushworth, Mark Wood, Usman Arshad and Jamie Harrison although Durham could have played seven Championship matches by the time he arrives.