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Aussie ace targets Worcestershire return
PHIL Hughes has snubbed interest from rival counties, insisting if he returns to England next summer it will be with Worcestershire.
The Australian left-hander enjoyed a successful campaign at New Road last term and director of cricket Steve Rhodes is eager to bring the 24-year-old back for a second stint.
However, South Australia batsman Hughes is the leading run-scorer in Sheffield Shield cricket so far this season, as well as being second in one-day cricket, and is well placed for a recall to the Baggy Green Test side following Ricky Ponting’s recent retirement.
County chief Rhodes, who has just returned from a trip to Australia, insists the only barrier to Hughes’ potential return to New Road is the amount of cricket he’d be available for, which will be dictated by his possible return to the Test arena.
“Phil has had interest from other counties in England,” said Rhodes. “But he has told them he only wants to play for Worcestershire, which is nice because that shows loyalty to us.
“The good thing about Phil is that he absolutely loves Worcestershire – both the city and our club.
“When I was over there, he talked to me along the lines of definitely wanting to come back here. The only problem at the moment is how much cricket he will be available for. It could be as little as three weeks, it could be a whole season – he wants to play for us again and we want him to come back, but we still need to find out what’s best.
“If he would only be available for a small amount of time, you question whether it would be worthwhile – but, with a player of Phil’s quality, anything from him could be worthwhile.
“With Ponting retiring from international cricket, Phil is probably the next cab on the rank for the Australian team.”