Australia all-rounder will be Middlesex’s only overseas signing for Twenty20 tournament
07:25 02 May 2014
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Middlesex have no plans to sign a second overseas player for the upcoming NatWest T20 Blast following the arrival of Australian all-rounder Dan Christian.
The Panthers finally confirmed the signing of Christian – who will be available for all their group matches in this summer’s tournament – last week.
But the county will not make any further additions to their squad, unlike last season, when New Zealand seamer Kyle Mills was drafted in to join Adam Voges for the T20 campaign.
Christian is expected to make his Middlesex debut when the rebranded Blast gets under way with a double header against Sussex and Essex at Lord’s on Saturday May 17.
And the Panthers are hoping to secure a place in the knockout stages for the first time since they won the Twenty20 Cup in 2008, having narrowly missed out on qualification last season.
“With Eoin Morgan being available more this year and also the likes of Paul Stirling as a specialist one-day player, I think that’ll be the only addition to the squad,” said Middlesex coach Richard Scott.
“This year the tournament is spread over a longer period and, logistically and financially, it’s quite difficult to get an overseas player to stay for that length of time.
“We had two overseas players last year, which helped a great deal, but we also blooded some youngsters – the likes of Adam Rossington, Ravi Patel and Gurjit Sandhu – and I think that bodes well for the future.
“Eoin is our one-day captain and he will demand an improvement from last year, of course, which would mean qualifying for the latter stages of the competition. That’s certainly the aim.”
Christian, who represented his country at the recent ICC World T20 in Bangladesh, has a wealth of experience in the shortest form of the game, with more than 100 wickets and over 1,500 runs to his name.
He also has previous experience in English cricket, having featured in the Hampshire team that won t20 honours in the 2010 season, as well as a spell with Gloucestershire last season.
And the 30-year-old’s arrival will help to offset the absence of fellow all-rounder Gareth Berg, who is expected to miss the start of the tournament after undergoing keyhole surgery on his right shoulder.
After their astonishing seven-wicket success against Yorkshire earlier this week - when they chased down a record fourth-innings target of 472 at Lord’s - Middlesex are back in County Championship action on Sunday when they travel to Edgbaston to face Warwickshire.