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October 2008
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TWC Grapevine: Vaughan, again

October 9th, 2008 by Paul Wood in County cricket

The future of former England captain Michael Vaughan remains unclear. He may be seeking pastures new to reinvigorate his international career. Duncan Fletcher is to land a consultancy role at Hampshire alongside new team manager Giles White, no one would be surprised if the two linked up. Vaughan and Fletcher forged a close bond with England.
Hampshire, having lost the services of opener Michael Brown to Surrey, are unlikely to be the only county in for Vaughan, Lancashire’s batting was fragile last season and he was born in Manchester …

While Worcestershire have held unofficial talks with Australian Steve Magoffin about returning next season, they have also considered numerous other overseas player options. The county is looking for a bowler and two players could well be asked to split the role: Zaheer Khan (should the BCCI allow it), West Indian Fidel Edwards (who was scheduled to play in 2008) or even one of South Africa’s pace-battery who become potential options following the World Twenty20 in June.
Zaheer must start as favourite following his immense year for the county in 2006 where he took 78 first-class wickets for Worcester at 29.07, including nine in an innings against Essex.

Derbyshire have added Durham player Garry Park to their squad for 2009. The South-African born allrounder is keen for more first-team action after playing only one Championship game last season, during which he claimed his only two first-class wickets to date, bowling both Stuart Law and Andrew Flintoff.
At 25, Derbyshire have identified him as being at the right age to make an impact. He joins on a two-year deal, after turning down the offer of a new two-year contract with Durham.

Also in the news:

– Leicestershire are hoping to sign bowler AJ Harris, if the deal is completed, he will join West Indian Lionel Baker in strengthening the clubs bowling attack. Baker has signed on a two-year deal and holds a British passport. Young players Matthew Boyce, Josh Cobb, James Taylor, Greg Smith, Joel Pope, Sam Cliff, Nathan Buck and Alex Wyatt have all agreed new deals.
– At Derbyshire Dan Birch, Ian Hunter and Stephen Stubbings have all signed new one-year contracts, while Academy fast bowler Atif Sheikh has signed his first professional contract.
– Ryan McLaren may cause Kent one or two headaches after being named in South Africa’s squad for the ODI series’ against Bangladesh and Kenya, subject to Kent allowing his release. Should he play, he will only be allowed to return to Kent as an overseas player.
– Former England allrounder Dominic Cork has signed for Hampshire on a two-year deal.
– Jason Lewry has been offered a one-year extension at Sussex, that includes only Championship games. Consequently, he’ll be paid less …
– Azeem Rafiq and Gary Ballance have signed their first professional contracts at Yorkshire. Rafiq was the unregistered player selected for Yorkshire in their final Twenty20 group match.
– David Brown has agreed to stay at Gloucestershire for a further two years.
– Neil Dexter has signed a long-term contract at Middlesex.
– Ben Brown, 19, and Tom Smith, 21, have shunned interest from numerous counties and opted to stay at Sussex, signing new two-year deals.

Paul Wood is a freelance journalist

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