Leicestershire have offered Will Jefferson the chance to revive his county career at Grace Road.
The 6ft 10ins tall opening batsman has just been released by Nottinghamshire after three unsuccessful seasons at Trent Bridge, but Leicestershire believe that he still has a future in the game.
The club held talks with Jefferson at a Leicester hotel on Wednesday but any hopes they had that their discussions might be secret were shattered when a club member spotted chief executive David Smith and senior coach Tim Boon deep in conversation with the former England A player.
Leicestershire have now confirmed that they have offered Jefferson a three-year contract and they plan further talks with him next week.
A loan move to Grace Road before the end of the season remains a possibility – the paperwork would have to completed before September 1 under ECB regulations – though Jefferson may opt to take a complete break from cricket having been paid up by Nottinghamshire until the end of the season.
A move to Leicestershire may well suit Jefferson as it would mean minimal disruption. He lives in West Bridgford near Trent Bridge which is within commutable distance of Leicester.
Jefferson, who spent seven seasons with Essex, was regarded as a potential Test batsman when he toured Bangladesh with England A three winters ago.
But little has gone right for the former Durham University player since he switched to Nottinghamshire. His first season in the Midlands was severely disrupted by injuries and he has made only one County Championship 50 in the last two seasons, though he is not the only Nottinghamshire opener to have struggled in that time.
A century in a first-class match against Oxford UCCE appeared to be a timely reminder of Jefferson’s talents, but Nottinghamshire’s signing of Neil Edwards from Somerset and the arrival of Scott Newman from Surrey on an extended loan deal signalled the end of his Trent Bridge career.
Jefferson has not even been selected for Nottinghamshire’s Second XI in the past two weeks and is effectively on paid gardening leave for the rest of the season.