County news March 17, 2015

Cosgrove finalises Leicestershire deal

ESPNcricinfo staff

Mark Cosgrove will be putting his formidable frame behind Leicestershire's challenge © Getty Images

Leicestershire have signed Mark Cosgrove, the experienced Australian batsman, as club captain. The move comes less than a month before the start of the new season and will give a lift to the county as they seek to put two winless seasons behind them.

Cosgrove, who has a British passport, will be available in all competitions as he again joins forces with Leicestershire's new head coach, Andrew McDonald, who is due at Grace Road by the end of the month.

Cosgrove and McDonald have played together at South Australia in the Sheffield Shield and also for Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash this season.

Wasim Khan, Leicestershire's chief executive, said: "We have been in discussions with Mark for a while about joining the club but only now he has reached the end of Australian season have we been able to conclude any agreement. We have tracked him for a while so are delighted to have been able to secure his signature.

"We are delighted to sign a player of Mark's calibre, quality and experience. He will be a fantastic captain for us and we look forward to Mark having a huge influence on us in 2015."

McDonald said: "Mark is a destructive batsman who can bat anywhere at the top of the order and his aggressive approach will be welcome in all formats. Mark has a terrific career record and his leadership abilities will be of great value to Leicestershire County Cricket Club, as well as the runs that he will score."

Ned Eckersley, Leicestershire's wicketkeeper batsman, who largely failed last season to build on his promise with the bat, has been named as vice-captain.

Cosgrove has vast experience of the county game and was prolific in his three full seasons at Glamorgan in 2006, 2009 and 2010. He also returned as the county's T20 overseas player in 2011. In all, he scored 2,823 runs, including 10 centuries, at an average of 52.27 in 60 first-class innings for Glamorgan as well as averaging 999 runs at 38.42 in List A cricket and 991 T20 runs at 27.91.

He re-signed for South Australia, the state of his birth, for the 2014-15 season after spending four seasons at Tasmania. His 9,649 first-class runs have come at an impressive average of 42.32, including 24 centuries with a career-best of 233 - his latest hundred coming against Queensland a few days ago.