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Page last updated at 17:06 GMT, Friday, 13 February 2009

Middlesex clinch deal with Hughes

Phillip Hughes
Hughes joins Middlesex for the opening six weeks of the season

Middlesex have signed Australian opening batsman Phillip Hughes on a short-term contract.

The 20-year-old joins the club for the opening six weeks of the new season.

The young left-hander has been brought in to help cover the absence of overseas signing Murali Kartik, who will play in the Indian Premier League.

"To have signed Phillip for the early part of the season is a major coup for Middlesex," said new managing director of cricket Angus Fraser.

"There is no secret of the fact that many respected voices in the game are billing Phillip as one of the most talented young batsmen in world cricket today.

"The addition of such a top quality batsman to our top order will prove invaluable in the early part of the season, given the absence of both Andrew Strauss and Owais Shah."

Hughes, fresh from celebrating a call-up to the Australian national Test side, made his first-class debut for New South Wales at the tender age of 18.


He was instrumental in his side's victory in the Sheffield Shield final last year and became the youngest player to score a hundred in the final.

The youngster will arrive at the club in early April and will be available for the club's opening County Championship match against Glamorgan at Lord's.

"I am very excited about my opportunity with Middlesex. The chance to play at Lord's and with one of cricket's most famous clubs is very special," he said.

"I am looking forward to the challenge of county cricket and have spent some time chatting with Justin Langer, Stephen Waugh and Michael Clarke already about conditions and tactics in county cricket.

"I hope I can make some runs and get Middlesex off to a good start to the season."

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