McDonald ineligibility a blow to Leicestershire

Leicestershire have started the search for a new overseas player for next season after discovering that Australia all-rounder Andrew McDonald will not be eligible for a work permit.

McDonald has proved a popular and influential figure during his two years at Grace Road but he has played insufficient international cricket in the last five years to be eligible to continuing playing county cricket.

McDonald, 30, played four Tests against South Africa in 2008-09 and toured England as a member of Australia’s Ashes squad two years ago.

But he lost his central contract with Cricket Australia last month, which ended Leicestershire’s hopes that McDonald might add to his international appearances.

Leicestershire have signed Pakistan all-rounder Abdul Razzaq as their second overseas player for this season’s Friend Life t20 and he will remain in England for the quarter-final against Kent on August 6 and for the finals day at Edgbaston if necessary.

Razzaq has been considered as an option to replace McDonald as overseas player in all forms of cricket next season but Leicestershire are concerned about his ability to stand up to the rigours of a 16-match County Championship programme and they are expected to seek a younger alternative.

Meanwhile Leicestershire will give a late fitness test to batsman James Taylor, who sustained a shoulder injury fielding against Sri Lanka A at Grace Road, before they finalise their side for the Championship match against Essex at Southend this week.

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