County news June 13, 2008

Chris Cairns set for county comeback

Cricinfo staff

Nottinghamshire have sprung a surprise with the return of Chris Cairns, the former New Zealand allrounder, for their Twenty20 Cup campaign. He had three spells at Trent Bridge between 1988 and 2003.

Cairns, 37, retired in early 2006 but returned to captain the Chandigarh Lions in the unauthorised Indian Cricket League (ICL).

As he is married to a Dutchwoman, Cairns can turn out for the county as a Kolpak player. Although the ECB has officially taken a stand against ICL cricketers, that policy is now in tatters.

"Nottinghamshire have been part of my life for twenty years and I truly thought that I had played my last game for the club so I am pleased to have the chance to make a return," Cairns said. "I am a Nottinghamshire member, I have always kept an eye on the results and there is no other club that I would have rather joined.

"It was a late decision and the registration could come down to the wire but I'm fit to play and I can't wait to get started. The Twenty20 format suits my style because I like to entertain and I love winning cricket matches."

He will make his first appearance on his 38th birthday, against Yorkshire, at Headingley. "I was always preparing as if I would be playing in the opening game and although I didn't expect any problems it is pleasing that the formalities have been completed," he said.

"I've done well in practice but I'm reticent to make any bold statements because playing in these games is a different proposition altogether. There have been a lot of changes to the side and there is a healthy mix of young and experienced players and we're hopeful that we can do well in the competition."