Yorkshire investigate Jaques’s UK qualification claims

Yorkshire will consider making a new overseas signing if the ECB allow Phil Jaques to appear as a non-overseas player in 2012 and 2013.

The 32-year-old opening batsman has retired from state cricket in Australia and holds a UK passport through having British parents.

“As a British passport holder, he can come and work in England without a work permit,” said Yorkshire’s Martyn Moxon. “But we have to make sure all the boxes are ticked with regard to the ECB regulations.

“They may not allow it, but hopefully they will and if we get Phil’s clearance we probably would sign somebody else. We’ve got a few irons in the fire.”

Since announcing that he will end his 12-year domestic career in Australia when the season ends next month, Jaques has found himself in the New South Wales second XI.

He was left out of the Sheffield Shield side which lost to Tasmania in Hobart recently but told his local newspaper, the Sun-Herald, he was very close to recapturing the form which earned him 11 Test caps. Jaques said he had finally worked out what his body could, and could not, do following back surgery in 2008.

”I’m hitting the ball really well,” he said. ”I had a good Big Bash with the Hobart Hurricanes and am feeling very good.”

Jaques has played 77 first-class matches for NSW, scoring 5,659 runs at an average of 41.30, and said: ”I want to finish the season off well and by contributing wherever I can for the state.

”I’d love to play for NSW if the opportunity arose, but right now I’m captain of the second team and helping out in that regard. I’m definitely hoping to get picked for a few more games, though.

”There’s so many good young batters I thought it was time for me to move on. The opportunity arose for me to play for Yorkshire and it was too good a chance to pass over. I’m looking forward to it.”

Jaques said for most of the three years he was playing international cricket, scoring a century in his last Test, he had lived on anti-inflammatory tablets to counter the pain from his back.

”I’m hitting my straps now. It’s taken me a little while to get back to full movement. I’m able to train a lot more now but, while there’s no doubt the injury and the year out of the game cost me dearly, I have no regrets.”

The left-hander will not be available for Yorkshire’s County Championship opener against Kent at Headingley on April 5 because he is getting married nine days later.

He will also miss the three-day friendly against Leeds/Bradford MCCU, but will be available to face Essex on April 19.

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