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Page last updated at 06:21 GMT, Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Lancashire secure Ashwell Prince's return in 2010

Ashwell Prince
Ashwell Prince still averages just under 45 in Test cricket for South Africa

Lancashire are to bring back South Africa batsman Ashwell Prince as an interim overseas player for the start of the 2010 season.

Prince, 32, who spent the first half of the 2009 season at Old Trafford, will fill the void left by Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara's international commitments.

"When Lancashire asked me if I would be interested in returning I didn't hesitate in saying yes," said Prince.

"I really enjoyed the camaraderie of the dressing room. It's a great club."

In contrast to his poor form for South Africa against England in the current series (he has made only 78 runs in six innings and has three times been dismissed by Lancashire team-mate Jimmy Anderson), Prince was a success in his last stay at Old Trafford.

Coming in ahead of the midsummer arrival of VVS Laxman, Prince hit 497 County Championship runs in five matches at 62.12.

And he added: "I was pleased with my performances for the county last season and will look to play my part in what we all hope will be a successful season for Lancashire."

Sangakkara is set to miss only the first six weeks of the season after the proposed Asia Cup and the ICC World Twenty20 in the Caribbean, which is scheduled to end on 19 May.

But Prince is likely to feature in at least the first five Championship matches for Lancashire - possibly more - and cricket director Mike Watkinson hopes the player will have the same early impact as in 2009.

When the going's tough he hangs in there, and he wears the bowlers down.

Lancashire cricket director Mike Watkinson

"When he came with us at the start of last season he brought a lot to the side, a lot of energy," Watkinson told BBC Radio Lancashire.

"We've got a real tight programme at the start of the season and we're going to need somebody out there not just with a lot of skill but with a lot of appetite and a lot of energy around the dressing room and he's certainly had that for us.

"He's a current Test opening batsman so he's obviously up there and doing the job on the international stage.

"When the going's tough he hangs in there and he wears the bowlers down.

"We need someone to roll their sleeves up. You really have to dig in."

Lancashire head coach Peter Moores stated: "Ashwell played an important part in our early success last year, with his quality and his ability to perform under pressure.

"His approach to the game was extremely professional and his enthusiasm to play was a testament to how he conducted himself during his time with us.

"Ashwell's influence on everyone at the club was a positive one and it is very exciting that he has agreed to come back and represent the club again in 2010."



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