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Fraser: 'Finn & new faces a boost'

Angus Fraser says the return of Ashes winner Steven Finn, alongside experienced new signings, can help Middlesex's push for promotion in 2011.

Fraser, Middlesex’s Director of Cricket, has Finn available for the start of the season, which gets underway against Essex at Lord’s on 14 April.

He also welcomes experienced signings Chris Rogers, Anthony Ireland and Corey Collymore - who joins for a first full season - to the fold.

More of Finn

Fraser praised Finn’s achievements since breaking into the England set-up in Bangladesh in 2010.

However, Fraser anticipates the 22-year-old being available for Middlesex more often this summer after he was left out of the final two Ashes Tests.

"The vibe I get is that we will see more of Steven this summer." said Fraser.

"He’s had a wonderful introduction to Test cricket and he’s disappointed to be on the outside at this moment in time.

"It was the right decision to replace him in Australia during the Ashes because while he was taking wickets he was expensive and wasn’t ticking every box.

"If there are injuries, Steven might be a like-for-like replacement for Tremlett and Broad.

"So, while we anticipate having him with us, I’m sure if an injury does crop up then he’ll be part of England’s considerations.

Fraser hopes Finn's experience within the England set-up can benefit his county colleagues.

"He’s achieved a lot in the last 15 months. I was delighted for him watching events in Australia. He’s a lovely kid and deserves what he gets because he works hard.

"I think what we want from Finn is that he’s a player experienced in the England set-up and I think all counties would like to put an England model into their club.

"Finances prevent that but he knows how England go about their business - the attitude and culture that exists - and that’s what we’re looking for here too."


The likely absence of England batsmen Andrew Strauss and Eoin Morgan for much of the summer, weakens Fraser’s options.

But the ex-England seamer believes that the acquisition of international trio Collymore, Ireland and Rogers will add some must needed experience to his side.

Fraser bemoaned a lack of experience in the side who finished one from bottom of the county championship in 2010, but insists he is pleased with the new faces around Lord’s.

He added:"We felt we needed a few more experienced players from the outset.

"I looked at the squad at the end of last year and we were pretty low on experience for a lot of last year. Strauss was out of the side for most of the summer, Ian O’Brien was injured and Eoin Morgan and Steven Finn were away with England a lot.

"We’ve brought in Rogers as a batsman and Corey and Anthony with the ball.

"All three are really good pros. I haven’t seen much of Rogers yet but all you hear are positive noises about him.

"The way Collymore and Ireland go about their business; they’re just natural leaders in the way they train and work and go about their cricket."

Stirling effort

The acrimonious departure of Owais Shah at the end of the 2010 season leaves Middlesex without one of their most destructive top-order players.

Fraser believes he has a ready-made replacement in Ireland batsman Paul Stirling.

The 20-year-old made only a handful of appearances for the Panthers last season but put in a good showing in the ICC World Cup - finishing with a 74-ball 101 against Netherlands.

Fraser said he was excited about seeing Stirling compete for a place in the side.

"Stirling is definitely going to be blooded." he added.

"The departure of Owais leaves us without a strong, destructive match-winner at the top of the order.

"That’s the type of cricket that Stirling plays so hopefully he’ll be able to come through as an opener.

"There’s a bit of work to be done with his potential to open in First Class cricket but certainly in CB40 and T20 cricket we hope he can do that for us."

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