Ireland’s seam bowler Craig Young has joined Hampshire on a short-term loan deal in their first response to a crippling early-season injury crisis.
Young, 26, will get an outing in Hampshire’s Second XI Championship match against Somerset at the Ageas Bowl, starting on Monday, in the hope of forcing himself into contention for the home Championship match against Middlesex on May 1.
Young was previously on the books at Sussex but had a frustrating time with injuries and never graduated beyond 2nd XI cricket. He has played 24 times for Ireland across three formats.
Ireland coach John Bracewell said: “Craig will continue his progression as one of Ireland’s front-line bowlers after a very good spell, especially over the last 12 months.
“With the North-West Warriors not having any championship cricket until late May and Ireland not in action until June, we feel the timing is ideal for Craig and hope he can aid Hampshire’s significant injury problems.”
Young said: “The request has come from completely left field. But it’s great to be given a chance, which I hope I can grab with both hands.”
Two years ago, he suggested that he had the pace and bounce to fill the void left for Ireland by Boyd Rankin. He took five wickets on ODI debut, against Scotland, and was Ireland’s top wicket-taker on a World Cup acclimatisation tour in Australia and New Zealand.
Hampshire’s current injury crisis includes fast-bowler Fidel Edwards, who suffered a fractured ankle at Headingley this week whilst fellow seamers Reece Topley, Gareth Berg and Ryan Stevenson are all still not available for selection due to injury.
Hampshire’s director of cricket Giles White told The Echo: “Craig comes as a recommendation from John Bracewell and, in light of the current injury problems we have, this gives us a good opportunity to take a closer look at him.”