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Australia batsman Usman Khawaja agrees Derbyshire deal

Usman Khawaja
Khawaja is one of Australia's rising stars

Derbyshire have signed Australia batsman Usman Khawaja for the first half of the 2011 county season.

The deal is subject to a No Objection Certificate from Cricket Australia.

The 24-year-old will be available from the beginning of the campaign through to the conclusion of the Friends Provident t20 competition.

Derbyshire's head of cricket John Morris told BBC Radio Derby: "It was a great opportunity to get in the type of player that I wanted."

Khawaja made his Test debut in the final match of the Ashes series against England in Sydney.

Morris admitted: "He was probably off the radar of a few people.

"But he got in the Test side and I thought he did quite well for a young man making his debut. He looked the part.

"He looked composed and confident. We are really pleased he will come over and play for us."

In total, the Pakistan-born left-hander is eligible for eight County Championship matches and six Clydesdale Bank 40 fixtures as well as the 16-match t20 campaign.

Morris added: "Usman has been part of the Australia set-up for several months and was part of the touring squad that visited the County Ground last season.

"Successful stints in county cricket have played an integral part in the development of many successful Australian cricketers and I'm sure Usman will benefit hugely from this experience.

"He has scored runs consistently for New South Wales and is a very entertaining player to watch."



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