Magoffin heading to Sussex
Sussex have bolstered their bowling attack ahead of the new county season with the signing of Australian seamer Steve Magoffin.
The 32-year-old Queenslander, who played one game for Surrey in 2007 before enjoying a stint at Worcestershire the following year, is awaiting a work permit and is expected to be available for Sussex’s second LV= County Championship match against Lancashire.
He is then set to remain with the south coast club until the beginning of the Friends Life t20 campaign in June.
Head coach Mark Robinson confirmed the news at Sussex’s pre-season media day at Hove, while also revealing the club had missed out on the signature of New Zealand paceman Tim Southee, who represented Essex last summer.
“We had done a deal with Tim Southee,” explained Robinson. “We actually had two players signed up at different times but for different reasons they got pulled out by their countries.
“Tim Southee got pulled out for medical reasons at the last minute and just at the same time we got notification that Steve Magoffin was available, which vastly excited us because he fits the bill in terms of what we need.
“Initially, we have signed him up until the end of that first period when the T20 starts and we think we have got lucky in terms of who we’ve got. All of the feedback we have got on him as a person is outstanding.
“Unfortunately, his work permit hasn’t come in time for (Sussex’s first LV=CC game against Surrey at The Oval), but all being equal he should be ready for the second game of the season.”
Magoffin helped Queensland to success in the Sheffield Shield over the winter, picking up 23 wickets at an average of 17.
Sussex skipper Michael Yardy added: “He’s a tall fast bowler who is very accurate.
“Speaking to people who have played with him and know him; they say he’s a good guy and a good team man and it’s very important to get that as well.
“We worry a lot about the performance on the pitch but it’s also about having the right guy in the dressing room that can help the younger bowlers in the team.”
Magoffin is looking forward to the challenge that awaits him at the PROBIZ County Ground.
"I am delighted to be heading to Sussex CCC for the beginning of the county season," he said.
"Sussex is one of the most successful county clubs in England in recent times, and it is an honour to be considered by them to be their overseas player.
“I have always enjoyed my time playing in the UK and my wife and I are very much looking forward to our time in Hove and meeting everyone from the club".
Scott Styris has already agreed to join Sussex for the Friends Life t20, but the club have opted not to pursue any domestic targets over the close season.
Instead, Robinson has retained faith in the players who finished fifth in last year’s LV= County Championship Division One while also performing strongly in the shorter formats.
“We’ve tried to back this group of players, so we didn’t sign anybody domestically because we want this squad to have room to grow,” Robinson explained.
“We ideally wanted to add some experience with the overseas player and we were looking for someone who would help bring stability to the dressing room.”
After the likes of Luke Wells and Ben Brown demonstrated their potential last summer, Robinson is confident Sussex can compete on all fronts in 2012.
“The ambition will be to win,” he insisted. “We are used to winning; we have won a lot of things here. We are a proud and good county and we want to keep that legacy going.”