Franklin signs for Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire have completed the signing of New Zealand all-rounder James Franklin as their overseas player for 2009.
Franklin, 28, a left-arm seamer and hard-hitting middle-order batsman, had a previous stint with the county five years ago, and also played for Glamorgan in 2006.
Franklin, who is currently playing for the Black Caps in their Test series against India, will arrive at Bristol for the start of the domestic season and is expected to be available for the entire campaign, international commitments permitting.
He said: “I am delighted to have signed with Gloucestershire for the 2009 season. Having spent time with the team in 2004, I know that there is a tremendous passion within the side to win games.
“I'm also looking forward to linking up with John Bracewell again as I know he will bring out the best in individuals. I'm looking forward to helping Gloucestershire challenge for trophies."
In 2004, Franklin took 7-60 on debut against Lancashire at Cheltenham, and contributed valuable middle-order runs.
Bracewell, returning as director of cricket after six years with the New Zealand team, could have three prominent Kiwis at his disposal, with Craig Spearman and Hamish Marshall expected to form the heart of the batting order.
Bracewell said: “As a left-arm swinging new ball bowler, who is a genuine all-rounder, James will improve the balance of our squad.
“He is reaching the peak of his form, having had an outstanding domestic season in New Zealand, beginning with a double century and ending with a century for New Zealand A, which got him back in the Test team.
“His bowling is getting stronger again after a patella tendon injury. We expect him to be available to us for the whole of the season, although you can never be sure what international commitments might crop up.”
Gloucestershire chief executive Tom Richardson added: “James took seven wickets on debut when he joined us before and has been in terrific form recently. We look forward to him becoming part of the team again.”
Gloucestershire begin their LV County Championship Division Two campaign against Surrey at the Brit Oval on April 15.