Leicestershire declare Hoggard interest

Leicestershire are hoping to hold talks with former England bowler Matthew Hoggard after his Yorkshire career came to an acrimonious end yesterday.

Hoggard, 32, was released by Yorkshire after 15 years at Headingley, sparking a bitter exchange between player and club, with the the seamer declaring himself hurt by the news.

But Leicestershire have become the first county side to formally declare an interest in the 2005 Ashes hero, just 24 hours after his Yorkshire career came to an unhappy end.

Foxes chief executive David Smith told Press Association Sport: "We haven't spoken to him yet but we do want to talk to him.

"He is a player I have asked our head coach Tim Boon to try and speak to. Tim worked as (former England coach) Duncan Fletcher's assistant for several years and he knows Matthew quite well.

"We would like to speak to him about his intentions on continuing to play first-class cricket."

He added: "It has only come about since yesterday and we're hoping to speak to him at some point in the next day or two.

"We'll take it from there, but he is a player of the calibre we are interested in."

Hoggard was Yorkshire's top wicket-taker in the LV County Championship this year with 43 and his hat-trick in the penultimate game against Sussex contributed significantly to the club's survival in Division One.

During his time with Yorkshire he took 248 wickets in 67 Tests for England before losing both his place and his central contract in 2008.

Hoggard never enjoyed the same level of success in limited-overs cricket, playing just 26 ODIs and becoming an increasingly peripheral player in Yorkshire's one-day pursuits, but it is thought Leicestershire would be looking to utilise his experience in all formats of the game.

Should Hoggard opt to move to Grace Road it would represent a drop to the second tier of the championship but he may relish the prospect of mentoring a young Leicestershire squad, having said he was looking forward to performing a similar role with Yorkshire.

Responding to the player's claims that he had "effectively been sacked" and was hoping to be considered as Yorkshire captain, the White Rose county's chief executive Stewart Regan pointed out that he had turned down a lucrative two-year deal earlier in the summer.