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Leicestershire defend Kolpak signings

Cricinfo staff

March 10, 2008

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Garnett Kruger will be one of Leicestershire's key bowlers in the 2008 season © Getty Images
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Leicestershire have defended their use of Kolpak players and insist they won't mean that young English cricketers will be kept out of the first team.

There have been plenty of arrivals at Grace Road during the off season with South African quicks Garnett Kruger and Dillion du Preez along with Jermaine Lawson, the West Indies fast bowler, joining on Kolpak deals. They join HD Ackerman and Claude Henderson, while the official overseas player is Boeta Dippenaar.

However, chief executive David Smith told the Leicester Mercury that the club's aim is to push forward young talent. "Our medium-term plan is to develop Leicestershire and Rutland-born cricketers," he said. "This will help us engage the local business community as the team will reflect the multi-cultural diversity of our city. This is vital if we are to underpin the financial stability of the club over the coming years."

He says that the Kolpak route isn't one that the county takes lightly, but draws on the example of Durham to prove how it can be successful.

"Kolpak cricketers are not popular but we have used the Durham blueprint for success in an effort to develop our team in the mid-term and hopefully provide England with some international cricketers."

However, Durham have produced a number of England players in the last five years - Paul Collingwood, Steve Harmison, Liam Plunkett and Phil Mustard - while Leicestershire's only major success story is Stuart Broad who has now moved to Nottinghamshire.


© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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