Batsman Mark Cosgrove will return to play for South Australia next summer, four years after he was axed by the state and subsequently moved to Tasmania. Cosgrove, 29, was offered a two-year contract extension by Tasmania but declined, and the state said it was believed Cosgrove wanted to move back to Adelaide "for personal reasons and to be closer to family and friends".
Cosgrove has been a prolific run scorer for the Tigers since moving south. He topped the Sheffield Shield run tally in 2010-11, his first season with Tasmania, and was second only to state team-mate Ricky Ponting last summer. In total, Cosgrove has made 2514 Sheffield Shield runs at 40.54 in his four seasons with Tasmania, and helped them to Shield titles in 2011-12 and 2012-13.
When Cosgrove was cut by the Redbacks after the 2009-10 season, the SACA high performance manager Jamie Cox said that South Australia had worked hard with Cosgrove, "but the unfortunate reality is that we were unable to help him fulfil his full potential". However, in his last summer with South Australia Cosgrove had averaged more than 40 in both the four-day and one-day competitions.
In announcing Cosgrove's return, Cox said: "With Tom Cooper, Callum Ferguson and Phil Hughes all enjoying stellar seasons with the bat, it is exciting to add another experienced head to the mix. He has been part of a very successful team at the Tigers over the last few years. After falling agonisingly short in the Sheffield Shield last year, it is hoped that he can bring some of that experience to the Redbacks."
During Cosgrove's time with the Redbacks, the state's officials often became frustrated at his inability to keep his weight down. After he was axed by South Australia, Cosgrove told ESPNcricinfo that "Adelaide being a one-paper city and with people at the SACA saying stuff, it was hard", but five years and with Darren Berry now the state's coach, he has decided to move home.
"Mark was an integral part of the Tigers team over the past four seasons" Andrew Dykes, the general manager of cricket with Cricket Tasmania, said. "Mark's skill with the bat at the top of the order was a big contributor to Tasmania's 2010/11 and 2012/13 Sheffield Shield wins."
Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here