Middlesex clinch Hughes deal
Middlesex have signed exciting Australia prospect Phillip Hughes as their overseas player for the first six weeks of the domestic season while Murali Kartik is involved in the Indian Premier League.
The 20-year-old opening batsman will provide cover at the top of the order for England captain Andrew Strauss and international team-mate Owais Shah, who also has IPL commitments.
Hughes was last month drafted into the Australia Test squad to tour South Africa this month and next. He is set to take recently retired Matthew Hayden’s opening berth and could feature in this summer’s Ashes series.
The New South Wales left-hander has taken Australian state cricket by storm over the last two seasons. He made his first-class debut aged 18 and finished his first season with an average of 62.
Hughes was instrumental in his side’s victory in the 2008 Sheffield Shield final; his 116 made him the youngest player to score a hundred in the final.
He is the second highest run-scorer in the current Sheffield Shield, with 963 runs at almost 69. This has won him the 2009 Bradman young player of the year award.
Angus Fraser, Middlesex's new managing director of cricket, said: “To have signed Phillip for the early part of the season is a major coup for Middlesex, as there is no secret of the fact that many respected voices in the game are billing Phillip as one of the most talented young batsmen in world cricket today.
“Phillip arrives with us in early April and will be available for our season’s opening championship fixture against Glamorgan at Lord’s.
"The addition of such a top quality batsman to our top order will prove invaluable in the early part of the season, given the absence of both Andrew Strauss and Owais Shah.”