English county cricket to see Australian influx this season

Updated: Apr 04, 2013, 16:30 PM IST

Sydney: England`s County Championship cricket will have an Australian influence this season after 18 of the total 28 overseas players announced by the county sides, arriving for stints of varying length, are from Down Under.

County cricket this season will see the likes of Dirk Nannes, Shaun Tait, Ricky Ponting, Simon Katich and Ed Cowan among the 18 arrivals.

Nannes and Tait, who are considered as short-term specialists, have been signed at Glamorgan and Essex respectively with a view towards the Friends Life T20 competition started by the England Cricket Board at 2010.

Ponting is due for a high-profile period at Surrey, Katich at Lancashire, while players Steve Magoffin and Michael Klinger have been signed at Sussex and Gloucestershire respectively.

Opener Ed Cowan , who was a relative latecomer to Test cricket will start the season practising and playing at as Nottinghamshire`s overseas professional and looks to be the principal beneficiary of county cricket`s Australian obsession.

Dismissing concerns over whether or not the presence of so many Australians in the county game this year will provide the opposition with an Ashes boost, Nottinghamshire director of cricket Mick Newell admitted that he cannot afford to think along those lines while finalising the deal.

Newell further said that he has nothing to apologise for as he believes that he has picked out the right players to play for his team.