Northants snap up Australian seamer Bird

Jackson Bird will be Northants' overseas player in 2014
Jackson Bird will be Northants' overseas player in 2014

Northamptonshire have signed Australian seam bowler Jackson Bird for a large part of the 2014 season.

The 26-year-old, who plays his state cricket for Tasmania and has made three Test appearances, replaces Trent Copeland who was unable to return to the County Ground due to work permit regulations.

Bird had been on the radar for a while - he was one of the names bandied around last winter as a possible recruit - and his signing will complete the club’s recruitment for the winter.

The deal he has agreed to will see him available for 10 County Championship and seven Twenty20 games.

And chief executive David Smith admitted that he was pleased to get the club’s number one target.

He said: “We’re glad to have completed the deal so early in the winter so we won’t have to spend time chasing players.

“Jackson was the one that we wanted, he’s a bit more of a strike bowler than Trent (Copeland) and with his addition I think that our attack is looking strong.

“He’s got a very good record for Tasmania, he’s played international cricket, and he’ll bring a different element to our attack.”

The fixtures for the 2014 season are due to be released in the next few weeks and Smith said that he expects Bird to be available for the club’s opener in the second week of April.

He added: “We’ve got specific dates included in the contract and I think he’ll be here for the start of our season.

“In Division One we’re going to need our strongest team available whenever we can.

“Jackson has come highly recommended and we think he’ll do a really good job for us.”