Cricket: McGrath deal signed

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The Independent Online
THE AUSTRALIAN fast bowler Glenn McGrath has finalised his agreement to play for Worcestershire next year in a deal backed by the county's leading sports benefactor.

Worcestershire declined to reveal the financial terms but confirmed that "generous support" has been offered by Cecil Duckworth, the multi-millionaire behind Worcester Rugby Club's rapid rise to national prominence. The county chairman, John Elliott, said: "We are immensely grateful to Cecil for supporting us in signing Glenn."

Worcestershire's attempt to sign McGrath was first reported on the day Australia won the World Cup at Lord's in June. The final hurdle was cleared when the county established that the Australian Cricket Board's new contracts with top players would not present a problem.

McGrath has agreed a two-year deal and will succeed his compatriot Tom Moody as Worcestershire's overseas player. He will return to the county in 2002, after Australia's 2001 tour to England.