Will Pucovski joins Leicestershire on short-term deal

Australian batter to make maiden appearance in English first-class cricket

Will Pucovski made a half-century on his comeback, South Australia vs Victoria, Sheffield Shield, Adelaide Oval, February 10, 2022

Will Pucovski has been a rising star of Australian cricket but his development has been hampered by setbacks  •  Getty Images

Will Pucovski, the Australian top-order batter, will play county cricket for the first time in April after signing a short-term deal with Leicestershire to cover for Wiaan Mulder.
Pucovski, 25, is widely considered one of Australia's brightest young talents and made his Test debut three years ago, playing against India at the SCG. But he has faced multiple setbacks in his fledgling career, suffering regular concussions and also taking leave from the game to manage his mental health.
He has had a quiet Sheffield Shield season for Victoria, playing five matches and passing 50 only once, but averages 43.94 across his first-class career and made 62 in his maiden Test innings, opening the batting alongside David Warner.
With Mulder unavailable at the start of the English summer while finishing the domestic season in South Africa, Leicestershire have brought Pucovski in for the first five matches of the County Championship season. He will play alongside his Victoria team-mate Peter Handscomb, who is also returning to the county this season.
Pucovski spent time in the UK last year, playing for Weybridge in the Surrey Championship, but this will be his first experience of county cricket. He said: "Talking to Pete, he couldn't speak more highly about the environment and [the] club's group of players and staff."
Claude Henderson, Leicestershire's director of cricket, said: "We are really pleased to have secured Will's signature. He has impressed for a while in the longer format, and he will give our batting line-up a real boost at the start of the summer."
Leicestershire finished fourth in Division Two of the Championship last summer during a turbulent season. Head coach Paul Nixon left his role as head coach in circumstances which remain unclear while several senior players also departed, but the club rallied under Nixon's replacement Alfonso Thomas and won the Metro Bank One-Day Cup.