Cricket: County to stand by McGrath

Click to follow
WORCESTERSHIRE INTEND to go ahead with Glenn McGrath as their overseas player for next year, despite his unexpected international commitments with Australia.

The 29-year-old fast bowler will miss two phases of the season when he is required for one-day tournaments against South Africa in April and August. But yesterday Mike Vockins, Worcestershire's secretary, said: "We feel that Glenn McGrath for 80 per cent of the time is more important than a lesser player for all of the season."

The county expect McGrath to miss the first three Benson & Hedges Cup matches and possibly a fortnight in August. Worcestershire would then hope to have him back for the last month of the season.

Somerset have announced the signing of the Derbyshire all-rounder Ian Blackwell on a three-year contract. The 21-year-old will sign the deal in March when he returns from playing Australian club cricket.

Blackwell is Somerset's second recruit of the close season, following the arrival of Essex's pace bowler Jamie Grove.