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March 8, 2012
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Worcestershire have been forced to swap the dashing strokeplay of Phillip Hughes with the more measured approach of his fellow Australian Michael Klinger because Hughes' arrival at New Road has been delayed until late May due to his involvement in Australia's training camps.
The change is the latest setback for English counties trying to attract overseas players at a time of ever-expanding international commitments.
Hughes put a positive spin on his delayed arrival for his second stint in county cricket and if it is as successful as his brief period at Middlesex three years ago Worcestershire will deem it worth the wait. "I now have commitments with Australia that will delay my arrival at Worcestershire but while it has cut back my time in the UK I am confident that I will be better prepared," Hughes said.
Klinger's career has blossomed since his move from Victoria to South Australia in 2008, and he was named Australia's State Cricketer of the Year in each of his first two seasons with his new side. His first taste of county cricket comes relatively late in his career, at 31, and his reputation has never been higher.
He scored the third double-century of his first-class career against Tasmania last weekend and was also the leading run-getter in the recently-concluded Ryobi Cup one-day tournament, amassing 498 runs at an average of 55.33.
Worcestershire's director of Cricket, Steve Rhodes, said: "I saw Mike play out in Adelaide against New South Wales in October and his skill, attitude, and maturity as a player made me sit up and take note. Mike has recently captained South Australia to the domestic one-day title and his batting was one of the main reasons for the success."
Edited by Brydon Coverdale
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Plays of the day from the IPL match between Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab in Abu Dhabi