County news July 15, 2004

Blignaut signs for Durham

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Andy Blignaut: to have his first taste of county cricket © Getty Images

Andy Blignaut, the Zimbabwean bowling allrounder, has joined Durham on a short-term deal. He will replace Shoaib Akhtar in the fast-bowling department, but does not count as an overseas player because Zimbabwe has an associate agreement with the European Union.

Blignaut, 25, had played 15 Tests and 47 one-dayers for Zimbabwe before he, along with 14 other players, were sacked by the national board after internal disputes. He has since agreed a three-year deal with Tasmania, the Australian state side.

Shoaib was forced to return home early from his stint with Durham for the Asia Cup, and hence Martyn Moxon, Durham's coach, was looking to bolster the bowling. Blignaut has taken 51 Test wickets with a best of 5 for 73 against Bangladesh at Bulawayo.