McDonald to leave Leicestershire

Andrew McDonald's half-century laid the foundation to Leicestershire's victory PA Photos

Leicestershire allrounder Andrew McDonald is leaving the county because of visa problems. McDonald's visa issue has arisen because the time that has elapsed since he last played for Australia in January 2009 means he no longer qualifies as an overseas player in county cricket. McDonald joins the retiring Paul Nixon and Nottinghamshire-bound Harry Gurney in leaving the county.

"Visa regulations mean Andrew cannot return next season and we thank him for the impact he has made over the past two years," said Leicestershire chief executive Mike Siddall. "It's really sad to have to say goodbye to three guys on the playing staff who have made a fantastic contribution to winning the t20 this year and taking Leicestershire into the Champions League."

McDonald, 30, was Leicestershire's Twenty20 player of the year this season, scoring 584 runs and taking 14 wickets during the county's successful run to the domestic title. His loss will be tempered by the fact that Pakistan allrounder Abdul Razzaq, who scored 262 runs and took 18 wickets this summer, will return to play Twenty20 cricket at Grace Road next year.

"It is a major boost for us," said head coach Phil Whitticase. "There are fewer Twenty20 games next season so it will be important we have a similar type of team. He has shown us all what he can do and we look forward to having him back with us."

Leicestershire have also secured the services of batsman Martin van Jaarsveld, who has moved to Leicestershire from Kent. "With Andrew unable to return next season it was important the club signed a senior batsman as we are unlikely to have an overseas player in the LV County Championship in 2012," explained Siddall.