Derbys sign North as overseas player
Derbyshire have added a second highly-experienced overseas player to their staff for 2014 by signing Australian Marcus North.
North, 34, announced his retirement from first-class cricket at the end of the Australian season but has agreed to play for Derbyshire across all formats this season when Shivnarine Chanderpaul is unavailable.
West Indies are scheduled to host New Zealand in June and Bangladesh at the end of August, leaving Derbyshire with a hole to fill, particularly when the season enters its latter stage where they will hope they are challenging for a return to Division One of the County Championship.
North will provide more than capable cover having enjoyed stints with five counties, including Derbyshire in 2006 where he made 465 runs in just three Championship matches. North also played 21 Tests for Australia and more recently was the leading runscorer in last season's Sheffield Shield with 886 runs at 63.28 having reinvented himself as an opener.
"To have a player of Marcus's experience and calibre joining us is massive for the squad," Elite Performance Director Graeme Welch said. "The beauty is that he can take over as our overseas player in one-day and four day cricket when Shiv is likely to be playing international cricket during the all-important run-in to the end of the season. We think he's a very shrewd signing in that respect.
"I captained Marcus when he played for us in 2006 and the class he showed with his batting was unbelievable. He also really bought into the team environment and - even though he was only with us for a few weeks - he was passionate about playing for Derbyshire.
"I know he'll do that again, only now he's returning with international cricket behind him and bags of county experience having played for the likes of Lancashire, Hampshire and Durham. You've only got to look at the way he's played in Australia to know what we're signing. He's a top-class cricketer."
North added: "I am delighted to be coming back to Derbyshire. I really enjoyed my stint there a few years back under Graeme Welch, so I am excited to be working with him again.
"I've enjoyed arguably one of my best seasons in Australia, so the opportunity to play this specific role for Derbyshire was very exciting and has come at the perfect time in my career.
"They obviously have a talented group of players so hopefully I can assist in getting the boys back up to Division One quick smart. I can't wait to get over there and start preparing for the season ahead."