Fixture News | 26th May 2007

Notts sign extra bowling cover

Nottinghamshire have moved quickly to cover for Ryan Sidebottom's international call-up by signing former England A bowler Simon Francis until the end of the season.

The 28-year-old right-arm fast-medium bowler has gone straight into the Notts squad for their Friends Provident Trophy meeting with Derbyshire on Bank Holiday Monday after a successful trial period.

Director of Cricket Mick Newell said: "We only had six seamers on the staff at the start of the season and with Ryan Sidebottom playing for England and AJ Harris injured, we couldn't operate with just four quick bowlers.

"Simon is an experienced bowler who has bowled well for us in the Second XI this year and will give us cover in an area where we are thin.

"He can slot straight into the team if necessary and there's every chance he will play on Monday."

Francis began his career at Hampshire before moving to Somerset in 2002. He toured Malaysia and India with England A in 2003-04 but only made three Championship appearances in 2006 before being released at the end of last season.

He was working in sales and marketing for a marquee company over the winter before getting the trial at Trent Bridge in pre-season.

He said: "After being released by Somerset I had to make plans for life away from cricket and it made me appreciate how lucky professional cricketers are.

"I didn't want to get to the age of 33 and wish I had given county cricket one more go and my love for cricket has been reinvigorated in the last four months.

"I'm determined to make the most of this opportunity but I've got no expectations beyond mucking in with the squad and doing my very best for Notts over the rest of the season."

Francis has 135 first-class wickets at an average of 40.89, and 77 wickets in limited-overs cricket at 34.33.

Injury news:
Francis is part of a 13-man squad for the match with Derbyshire, with his greater experience of the white ball preferred to Footitt.
Jason Gallian makes way for Fleming at the top of the order.

Fleming (capt), Shafayat, Wagh, Hussey, Patel, Read (wkt), Ealham, Swann, Clough, Ferley, Shreck, Francis, Franks.

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