County news September 5, 2014

Varun Aaron to join Durham

ESPNcricinfo staff

Play 00:35
'Aaron can't afford to lose the pace' - McGrath

India fast bowler Varun Aaron will join Durham as an overseas player for the final few weeks of the County Championship season. He will replace Australia allrounder John Hastings, who has been called up to play for Chennai Super Kings for the upcoming Champions League T20.

Aaron will be available for the final two fixtures of the season, against Northamptonshire and Warwickshire, and is expected to fly to England next week. Durham have been forced to strengthen their forces because of the lurking threat of relegation from Division One of the LV= Championship.

Aaron played the fourth and fifth Tests against England and took five wickets for 250 runs - as well as breaking Stuart Broad's nose with a bouncer - before returning to India to join Glenn McGrath at the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai for a 10-day fast-bowling programme.

"It's an honour for me to play for Durham" Aaron said. "I've always wanted to play county cricket in the UK and am looking to play next season. However, I am happy that the opportunity has come sooner and I look forward to joining the rest of the team."

Aaron is the second Indian player to sign with an English county this season after Cheteshwar Pujara agreed terms with Derbyshire. Varun had previously indicated he wanted to play domestic cricket in England to help "develop as a cricketer".

Durham coach Jon Lewis said: "He's obviously got some good pace and he's young and keen. He didn't start the series [against England] and came into it halfway through and made an impact because he brought genuine pace to their attack, which they didn't really have early on. I'm sure Stuart Broad remembers him!

"It bolsters our seam attack as we are a bit thin on the ground at the moment. The plan is that he'll join us at Lord's and spend a bit of time with us and that'll give him a few days to get ready for the first game."

Durham, champions in 2013, are currently seventh in Division One with three wins and three losses out of 13 games but they boosted their chances of avoiding relegation with a 54-run win over Nottinghamshire this week. Their next match is against Middlesex at Lord's from September 9.

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