County news October 13, 2009

Leicester offer Hoggard three-year contract

Cricinfo staff

Matthew Hoggard, the former England fast bowler, has been offered a three-year contract by Leicestershire. He was released by his home county Yorkshire last week after 15 seasons with them.

David Smith, Leicestershire's chief executive, signalled the county's interest in Hoggard last week and is confident of signing him up. Smith felt that one of the things in Leicestershire's favour was that Hoggard, 32, has worked closely with head coach Tim Boon, who was Duncan Fletcher's assistant in the England set-up.

"We are in the ball park financially," Smith said. "Matthew likes what we are doing here and he knows Tim well. I came away from the meeting feeling that we are in with a shout."

Hoggard has played only a handful of one-day matches with Yorkshire in the past couple of seasons, and smith said he would get more opportunities with Leicestershire in that format. "He hasn't played much one-day cricket recently but he will play that with us. I think he needs a new challenge. I think we would say we were hopeful."

Leicestershire are coming off a season to forget, finishing in last place in the Division Two of the County Championship, and not tasting much success in the limited-over tournaments either.

Hoggard finished the 2009 season as Yorkshire's leading wicket-taker, and in total claimed 331 wickets in 102 first-class matches for the county, as well as a further 248 in 67 Tests since 2000.