McGrath to gain match practice with Middlesex

Glenn Mcgrath will attempt to prove he has overcome a career-threatening ankle injury by spending a month playing for Middlesex. The Australian fast bowler, who has been out of Test cricket for almost a year, is set to play in the coming series against Sri Lanka but is yet to convince the selectors that he has regained full fitness.

Glenn Mcgrath will attempt to prove he has overcome a career-threatening ankle injury by spending a month playing for Middlesex. The Australian fast bowler, who has been out of Test cricket for almost a year, is set to play in the coming series against Sri Lanka but is yet to convince the selectors that he has regained full fitness.

With 430 Test wickets to his name, McGrath is one of the greatest fast-bowlers the game has seen and he will replace Lance Klusener at Middlesex if, as expected, the South African tours Sri Lanka. McGrath will be available for four County Championship matches and five Totesport League games between 18 July and 15 August. The 34-year-old then hopes to join up with the Australian squad for September's Champions Trophy which takes place in England.

The arrival of McGrath at Lord's, the ground where he took career-best figures of 8 for 38 against England in 1997, is a welcome boost to Middlesex who have lost four of their last five matches.

This recent slump in form has led to the county sacking Owais Shah, their stand-in captain while Andrew Strauss has been away on Test duty, and his replacement by Ed Joyce, the talented middle-order batsman.

"The club management felt we needed a change in direction," said John Emburey, the Middlesex coach. "We have gone through some tough times and Owais is naturally disappointed. It's been done and the sooner it is fish-and-chip wrapping paper the better."

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