Cowan signs for Notts to aid his Ashes preparations


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The Independent Online

Australia opener Ed Cowan will prepare for next summer's Ashes series with a spell at Nottinghamshire.

The 30-year-old will be available to Mick Newell's side until 21 June, with his stay covering seven County Championship games and eight one-day fixtures.

Cowan who has become a fixture at the top of Australia's batting line-up over the past 12 months, will be able to get used to the wicket at Trent Bridge, which hosts the opening Ashes Test on 10 July.

"I was very keen to play some Division One cricket and I'm pleased to have the opportunity to do that with Nottinghamshire," Cowan said. "There are a lot of good players at the club and Trent Bridge is a great venue so I'm hoping to make a good contribution."

Cowan's injured Australia team-mate Pat Cummins is confident he will be fit for the first Ashes Test but conceded his young body is unlikely to hold up for all five matches.

The 19-year-old pace bowler is sidelined with back stress fractures suffered when playing for the Sydney Sixers in the Twenty20 Champions League in October. Cummins confirmed he would miss the rest of the home series against Sri Lanka and the tour of India starting in February.

But the teenager, who took seven wickets in his one and only Test – against South Africa in November 2011, is targeting an Ashes return.

"That's the ultimate goal," Cummins said. "I'm not playing IPL this year to try and get back to playing red-ball cricket... so that's certainly the goal."