IPL affects Middlesex's plans for 2009
Angus Fraser, Middlesex's new director of cricket, has admitted that the Indian Premier League has altered the way the county is planning for the new season.
"The IPL takes away the majority, if not all, of the world's big cricketers and most of them only become available at the end of May," Fraser, who took up the post on January 1, told the BBC. "My view was that it was pointless getting someone involved who may not add to your team. That was assuming that we'd have Andrew Strauss for a bit of the season and Owais Shah, but if you look at that now I don't think we're going to see a great deal of them.
"The dual objective of someone like myself is to produce a Middlesex side that's challenging for trophies and playing high quality cricket, but also to produce England cricketers. Every England cricketer that Middlesex produce is a huge bonus for the county but that also means you need strength in depth."
Fraser said that he had identified a "nice young batsman who has got a very encouraging future in the game" as a potential signing in a bid to reverse a decade-and-a-half of decline at Middlesex. "I'm excited by the prospect of him playing at the start of the season.
"There's a genuine desire to help the club move forward. Last year's success in the Twenty20 cup was magnificent … it was the club's first trophy for 15 years and for a club like Middlesex that's too long a gap.
"Ultimately it's my job to appoint captains and appoint coaches and to get the right people involved to take Middlesex forward. I'll be hands on and watching Middlesex's cricket, and it would be foolish not to get involved in the development of young bowlers who I watch bowling everyday.
"It's not going to be a track-suited position but I'm there for players and coaches to talk to should there be issues."