Test Match Sofa
Cowan an astute signing, says Read
By Dave Bracegirdle
Nottinghamshire captain Chris Read has expressed his delight at the latest addition to the Trent Bridge ranks. The county have secured the signing of Australia’s Ed Cowan for the first part of the English domestic season and expect to have him available for seven County Championship fixtures and eight Clydesdale Bank 40 matches.
Cowan is then expected to feature in the Ashes series, leaving the county to name a replacement overseas player for the remainder of the campaign.
Read believes his club have made an astute signing. “I’m actually very pleased,” he said. “I don’t know Ed personally but think I played against him a number of years ago when I was in Australia with the England academy team. From what I’ve seen he is a very accomplished batsman.
“He’s an opening batsman, which is something that we need and he’s started his Test career nicely. His first century came against the South Africans who have a fine bowling attack so we’re looking forward to having him at Trent Bridge and to him having some success.”
The Trent Bridge pitch is notoriously difficult to score runs on in the early part of the season, particularly for first-timers, but Read doesn’t feel the new man will have too many problems.
“I don’t see it as a gamble. He’s opened the batting for Australia and he’s an accomplished player, one who has recently got his opportunity to play some international cricket. He’s very hungry to nail down that place in the Australia side and hopefully if we can help his cricket development at Trent Bridge it will pay dividends for both himself and us. I don’t see it as a gamble at all. We are looking forward to welcoming him to Nottingham and seeing some good stuff from him.”
Ironically, despite Notts recruiting an opening batsman, they looked to have partially solved the problem at the top of the order with Alex Hales and Riki Wessels getting them off to several good starts last season.
“I still see that as being a viable opening partnership,” added Read. “Both are fantastic cricketers and they did some really good work at the top of the order last year. I think Riki is a very versatile player and is probably not a natural opener now, although he could develop into one in the future.
“For now we feel he might be better suited to playing in the middle order in four-day cricket. The other issue we have to contend with is international availability as we’re not sure how things are going to affect the likes of Alex Hales and Michael Lumb with regard to Twenty20 cricket, with regard to Samit Patel – where his career is going to take him – and really juggling that top six is going to be a big issue for us throughout the next six months.”
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