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Page last updated at 19:37 GMT, Wednesday, 24 June 2009 20:37 UK

Worcestershire approach Hoggard

Matthew Hoggard
Hoggard has admitted he is considering his options

Worcestershire have made a double approach to sign Yorkshire seam bowlers Matthew Hoggard and Ajmal Shahzad.

Both players are out of contract at the end of the season and Worcestershire have invoked the 28-day clause which allows them to discuss terms.

Confirming the approach, Worcestershire director of cricket Steve Rhodes told BBC Sport: "Matthew Hoggard is a quality international seam bowler.

"I don't think we're the only ones showing interest in signing him."

Rhodes added: "That has also been the case with the number of counties interested in our wicketkeeper Steven Davies.

"There's more and more of this sort of approach coming into cricket given the way more agents are now involved."

Rhodes feels sure that his fellow Yorkshireman, 32-year-old Hoggard, who started his career alongside Worcestershire vice-captain Gareth Batty at Headingley, would fit in particularly well at New Road.

606: DEBATE
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"We have had some quality seam bowlers here over the years like Phil Newport," he said. "And Matthew would enjoy the conditions and the pitches here.

"Matt Mason and Ashley Noffke have done a great job in helping the development of our younger bowlers but Matthew Hoggard is the sort of person who would also help command immediate respect."

With injury-plagued seamer Simon Jones out for the season, Worcestershire are keen to strengthen their options.

Hoggard, England's sixth highest Test wicket-taker of all time with 248 scalps in 67 Tests, hinted earlier this month that he was considering changing county.

"I'm not ruling it out," Hoggard told the Yorkshire Post at the time.

"I would have to work out what's best for me and what's best for my family, but it's not impossible I could be playing somewhere else next year."

Hoggard, who has been offered a two-year deal by his home county, is Yorkshire's leading County Championship wicket taker this season, his 15 victims coming at an average of slightly over 31.

Shahzad, 23, has broken into the Yorkshire team this season, taking 10 Championship wickets.

Worcestershire, however, denied making an approach for the Tykes' former England captain Michael Vaughan.



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see also
Jones insists career is not over
19 Jun 09 |  Worcestershire
Hoggard hints at Yorkshire exit
01 Jun 09 |  Yorkshire
Hoggard tips Australia for Ashes
12 May 09 |  Cricket
Hoggard angry over England snub
20 Apr 09 |  England
Hoggard hopes for England recall
08 Apr 09 |  Cricket


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