Notts pounce for Prince
Mick Newell has confirmed that South Africa batsman Ashwell Prince will join Notts to help boost their Division One title challenge.
Last Updated: 06/08/08 4:46pm
Nottinghamshire's LV County Championship Division One title challenge has been boosted by the signing of South Africa batsman Ashwell Prince.
The arrival of Prince has ended a frustrating search for an overseas player for director of cricket Mick Newell, who had released Australian David Hussey in early July due to increased international commitments.
Compatriot Adam Voges, who had initially been signed as cover for Hussey, had then sealed his move to Trent Bridge but would not be available for the last six weeks of the season.
India batsman VVS Laxman was then expected to replace Voges, however, in yet another twist, his move to Trent Bridge was aborted after the Board of Control for Cricket in India withdrew his No Objection Certificate.
Prince has been a firm fixture in South Africa's Test side, and scored a memorable 149 against England at Headingley and averages 43 after playing 44 Tests for the Proteas.
The 31-year-old will make his Nottinghamshire debut in the NatWest Pro40 fixture against Durham Dynamos at Trent Bridge on August 19.
"Ashwell has shown in this series that he's a match-winner and the fact that he's already in England with his family added to the attraction of signing him," Newell said.
"He's in form and it's always good to sign a player who is playing with confidence. He'll join us at a vital stage of the season and add quality to our middle order.
"He's an excellent fielder and he isn't involved in South Africa's one-day international fixtures so he fits the bill for perfectly."
Prince made his Test debut against Australia in 2002 and captained South Africa in their tour of Sri Lanka in 2006.
He has also represented South Africa in 52 ODIs but will not be involved in their forthcoming five-match series against England.
The left-hander is looking forward to helping Nottinghamshire, who currently top the county championship and Pro40 tables, push for silverware.
"Nottinghamshire are in contention for silverware and I'm confident that I can add some experience to the team at an important stage of the season," Prince said.
"I know that I am joining a competitive team and I have kept my eye on the results ever since the interest was expressed.
"I spoke to Stuart Broad at Headingley long before the deal was concluded and he told me that the set-up was good and that Trent Bridge is a great place to play cricket.
"I'm not in the South Africa one-day squad which frees up my time and hopefully there will be an opportunity for me to play more county cricket in the future.
"A lot of quality overseas players have gone before me at Notts and I want to score runs for the team."