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Glamorgan sign Balbirnie as early-season replacement for Labuschagne

Glamorgan Cricket on Wednesday announced the signing of Ireland Test captain Andy Balbirnie as an overseas player for the start of the 2021 County Championship.
Glamorgan sign Balbirnie as early-season replacement for Labuschagne

Glamorgan Cricket on Wednesday announced the signing of Ireland Test captain Andy Balbirnie as an overseas player for the start of the 2021 County Championship.

He replaces Marnus Labuschagne for April after the Australian domestic season was extended due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Marnus is due to join Glamorgan once the domestic season finishes Down Under.

"It's a brilliant opportunity to play red-ball cricket and the County Championship is historically one of the best first-class competitions in the world," said Balbirnie.

"I really enjoyed my time in Wales last season -- the players and coaches were incredibly welcoming and it's a great place to play. I'm really excited to go back, get stuck in and hopefully contribute to some wins for Glamorgan," he added.

Balbirnie has played three Test matches for his country with a top score of 82 against Afghstan in 2019. He also scored a half-century at Lord's when Ireland nearly recorded a shock victory against England later that year.

The 30-year-old has played 30 first-class matches, scoring 1,296 runs with a top score of 205 not out against The Netherlands in a four-day Intercontinental Cup match in 2017.

Director of cricket, Mark Wallace, said: "Its disappointing Marnus will miss the first few games of the season but we're very happy to get someone the calibre of Balbo in on such short notice. As he showed last year, he's a fine player and has a good track record across all formats and experience playing at the very highest level.

"He was fantastic for us when he joined last year and will bring plenty of skill and leadership to our side. Michael Neser plays with Marnus at Queensland and his arrival has also been delayed so we're currently looking at other options for the early stages of the season," he added.

( With inputs from ANI )

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