Middlesex sign up Rayner on loan deal

Middlesex have moved to cover the retirement of former skipper and off spinner Shaun Udal by taking Ollie Rayner on loan from Sussex for the start of the 2011 season.

Rayner, the 25-year-old Sussex off spinner, will join Middlesex once he returns from the MCC’s tour of Namibia in early March and will then take a full part in the club’s pre-season preparations.

The German-born Englishman will then be available for selection for Middlesex’s initial four LV= County Championship games and five Clydesdale Bank 40 matches.

Middlesex will review the loan agreement in mid-May, when England’s early-season international requirements are better known, but the county’s director of cricket Angus Fraser is delighted to have Rayner on board until then.

He said: “Ollie will be a welcome addition to Middlesex’s cricket staff for the start of the season. He is a talented young cricketer with an excellent work ethic who is improving with each season.

“Shaun’s departure left us needing to strengthen our spin bowling resources and we’d like to thank Sussex for allowing the player to join up with us.”

In 2010, Rayner took 18 first-class wickets with his languid off-breaks, at a cost of only 22 runs each. He averaged 32 with the bat in Championship cricket and is regarded as an excellent fielder, especially at slip.

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