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Page last updated at 09:24 GMT, Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Australian Phil Jaques to make Worcestershire return

Phil Jaques
Phil Jaques is in the runs again for New South Wales in the Sheffield Shield

Worcestershire are to bring Australian batsman Phil Jaques back to New Road for the first half of next season.

The 30-year-old left-hander, who played for the club in 2006 and 2007, will return before Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan arrives in mid-July.

Director of cricket Steve Rhodes told BBC Hereford and Worcester: "He's a quality player and the way he plays his cricket is all about winning.

"He is going to be a top signing once again for us this year."

Rhodes said Jacques had needed little persuasion to return to the county for a third time.

"He loves Worcester, enjoys living in the county and really enjoys playing for the club," he said.

I'm thrilled to be coming back to Worcestershire in what is seen as a rebuilding year for the club

Phil Jacques

"When he read about us going through a rebuilding stage he felt he would enjoy being part of it.

"He could see we had a tough year last year, we've got lots of youngsters we want to bring on and he sees this as a chance to be a father figure as well.

"We need someone at the top of the order in the early season to cope with the awkward conditions and he is full of experience and the right man for the job."

Back in Division Two of the County Championship following relegation, Worcestershire hope Jaques can prove as prolific as in 2006.

In the first half of that season, he hit 1,148 runs in just eight games.

Jaques, who had previously had spells with Northants and Yorkshire, also played for Worcestershire in 2007, hitting 541 runs in 10 top flight Championship matches.

The New South Wales-born batsman, who has an English passport as his mother and father were born in the United Kingdom, has played in 11 Tests for Australia since making his debut on Boxing Day 2005.

He hit three centuries, including a best of 150, and six 50s in 19 innings, at an average of 47.47.

He finished the 2008 West Indies tour with a century in the final Test but was dropped for the next match in India following the return of Matthew Hayden.

Jacques has also played six one-day internationals, the last coming against New Zealand at Auckland in February 2007.

A severe back injury, which restricted his movement and required two operations, led to the loss of his Australian contract in 2009.

But he has made runs for New South Wales in the Sheffield Shield this winter and is now fit enough to resume his county cricket career.

And Jacques said he was looking forward to starting the new county season back at New Road.

"I'm thrilled to be coming back to Worcestershire in what is seen as a rebuilding year for the club," he said.

"I'm keen to not only lead the way with the bat but also help the talented group of young players find their feet in the first-class game, and hopefully taste success during the season."

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see also
Shakib signs for Worcestershire
18 Nov 09 |  Worcestershire
Prolific Jaques heads to New Road
05 Oct 05 |  Worcestershire
Jaques stays at Headingley
02 Jun 04 |  Yorkshire
Tykes recruit Jaques
07 May 04 |  Yorkshire
Jaques signs Northants deal
09 Apr 03 |  Northants

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