• Durham favourites to land Rabada

    Kagiso Rabada could join English county Durham for a six-week stint as they look to replace the injured Australian fast bowler John Hastings.

    Hastings is facing possible shoulder surgery which might open up a spot for Rabada to join the county on a short-term deal to feature in the early stages of the County Championship, reports the Daily Mail.

    Rabada recently took 13-144, the best ever bowling figures by a South African on home soil, in the fourth Test against England at Centurion and is keen to play some county cricket instead of potentially playing in the IPL.

    Proteas coach Russell Domingo has already given Rabada his blessing to play county cricket should the opportunity arise, despite the 20-year-old being in need of some rest after establishing himself in all three formats for South Africa.

    ‘Rabada playing country cricket will benefit him massively,’ Domingo said. ‘He’s still a young boy. He hasn’t played a lot of four-day cricket and I know South Africa tour England in 2017. There’s a big Test series there and there’s a Champions Trophy. So there’s a lot of cricket to be played in England next year.

    ‘Whatever experience he [Rabada] can get before going there will be beneficial for him and for the team so I think it’s a very good idea for him.’

    Durham planned to await the outcome of the upcoming IPL auction before homing in on a replacement for April and May but captain Paul Collingwood has privately admitted Rabada would be an ‘amazing’ acquisition since the South African’s intentions came to light.

    Rabada’s agent, Donne Commins, has reportedly contacted several counties citing his availability. However, there are a limited number of clubs offering windows of opportunity.

    Champions Yorkshire have put their faith in homegrown talent until Kane Williamson arrives in mid-season and Middlesex want a batsman if their first-choice Adam Voges makes the IPL cut, leaving Division Two duo Kent and Gloucestershire as the only viable rivals to 2013 winners Durham.

    Kent did not employ an overseas player last year but in a re-evaluation for 2016 would be willing to listen while Gloucestershire – known as Proctershire in the 1970s due to the presence in their ranks of one of South Africa’s greatest cricketers Mike Procter – are interested due to their Australian batsman Michael Klinger not arriving until June.

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