County news March 7, 2013

Leicestershire sign Joe Burns

Leicestershire have signed Australia batsman Joe Burns as an overseas player for part of the 2013 county season. Burns will stand in for Ramnaresh Sarwan once the latter leaves for international duty with West Indies.

Burns, 23, scored 145 runs, including a century, for Australia A against the touring England Lions in February. He was voted the Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year by his fellow Australian players for his achievements in the 2012-13 season. All cricketers who have won the award since its inception in 2000 have gone on to represent Australia in at least one format. While Burns has yet to play international cricket, he can gain a work permit through a UK passport. He appeared briefly for Sussex second XI in 2010.

Sarwan is expected to play the first five and last four Championship games of the season, leaving Burns to cover the middle of the campaign and the FLt20 competition. He will arrive on May 15 and leave on August 30 and his spell will comprise seven county championship games, the whole of the FLt20 competition and 11 CB40 matches.

"I've heard great things about the club's set-up and players and I am very motivated with the ambition of promotion in the county championship," Burns said. "I'm looking forward to joining up with the team in May and contributing to a successful and enjoyable season."

"We are delighted to have signed the up-and-coming batsman Joe Burns," Leicestershire's chief executive, Mike Siddall, said: "We are hoping he will have a similar impact at Grace Road as previous Australian overseas players, Brad Hodge and Michael Bevan. Joe is on the fringes of the Australian team and will be keen to impress during an Ashes year in England."

Leicestershire are expected to add another overseas player for the FLt20, with Bangladesh allrounder Shakib Al Hasan believed to be a frontrunner for the role.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo