Hampshire sign Bird and Arafat

Bird is set to represent Hampshire in all three formats for the first three months of the season

Bird is set to represent Hampshire in all three formats for the first three months of the season

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Hampshire have signed Australia pace bowler Jackson Bird for the first half of next year’s County season and former Pakistan all-rounder Yasir Arafat for the limited overs portion of the season.

Bird, who has represented Australia in three Tests, will be available to play for Hampshire in all three formats for three months before his potential involvement in the Ashes series.

This is the sixth county that Arafat will be playing for, which equals the record set by former Australia batsman Marcus North. Prior to this, Arafat also played for Sussex, Kent, Lancashire, Somerset and Surrey.

“We’re delighted to have Jackson and Yasir on board for next season – they will both add a lot of quality to our bowling attack and hopefully they will help us build on a successful 2014 season,” Hampshire’s director of cricket, Giles White, said. “Jackson comes highly recommended and at a time of the year that is likely to suit his style of bowling, we are looking forward to having him about and hope he has a positive influence on our return to Division One. Yasir has the flexibility to play all of our one-day cricket, boasts an excellent record and has committed to the club for further campaigns.”

White also revealed that Hampshire will be in close contact with South Africa pace bowler Kyle Abbott since took 36 wickets at a brilliant average 20.33 in the recently concluded season.

However, Abbott’s availability will depend on whether he is selected for the Proteas’ tour of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh next year.

“Kyle Abbott is someone we will continue to keep in touch with as he fitted into the group exceptionally well this year and has voiced a desire to return if international commitments allow,” White said.

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