Worcestershire have signed South Australia batsman Michael Klinger as a locum overseas player until the end of May.
Klinger, 31, has been signed to deputise for his compatriot Phil Hughes who has been included in an Australia training camp during the opening weeks of the English season.
Hughes was expected to spend the full season with Worcestershire after he lost his place in Australia’s Test squad but his inclusion in the training camp has given him hope of an international recall.
“I now have commitments with Australia that will delay my arrival at Worcestershire until late May. While it has cut my time in the UK back, I am very confident that I will be better prepared and ready to play my part in what should be a successful campaign for Worcestershire,” Hughes said.
Klinger should join Worcestershire in prime form having recently made the third double century of his career against Tasmania.
Klinger, who also captains South Australia, scored heavily while opening in the Ryobi One-Day Cup. He led the Redbacks to long-awaited glory in the limited-overs competition and was the highest run-scorer in this season’s competition, amassing 498 at an average of 55.33.
Worcestershire director of cricket Steve Rhodes said: “I saw Mike play out in Adelaide against New South Wales in October and his skill, attitude, and maturity as a player made me sit up and take note.
“Mike has recently captained South Australia to the domestic one-day title and his batting was one of the main reasons for the success as he was the top run-scorer in the competition. I am looking forward to welcoming him to New Road and working with him.”
Klinger will be eligible for a work permit to play county cricket as he is a European passport holder.