All-rounder Louw steps in

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The Independent Online

The South African all-rounder Johann Louw has been signed by Northamptonshire as their replacement overseas player for the fast bowler Andre Nel, who has been ruled out for the coming season through international commitments.

The 24-year-old middle-order batsman and seamer, born in Cape Town, plays for Eastern Province ­ the side coached by Northamptonshire's first-team manager, Kepler Wessels.

"Johann comes highly recommended by Kepler, who described him as 'pretty sharp' with the ball," John Scopes, the club's cricket chairman, said.

Worcestershire are to step up their efforts to bring the Australian pace bowler Andy Bichel back to New Road for the coming season as Nantie Hayward tries to break back into the South African team.