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Essex sign Australia batsman Rob Quiney

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Rob Quiney says playing county cricket has been a "major cricketing ambition" © Getty Images
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Essex have bolstered their top-order batting by signing Rob Quiney, the Australian batsman, for the first half of the season. Quiney will initially be available until the end of the Friends Life t20.

It will be Quiney's first stint in overseas first-class cricket. He has a modest record in the format with 3,101 runs at 36.48 in 55 matches but his 2011-12 season suggested he is capable of more than his record suggests. 938 runs at 49.36 prompted his call up for the first Test of the Australian summer against South Africa where he made 9 in his only innings. He was then dropped after making a pair in Adelaide.

"I am delighted to have signed to play for Essex this summer," Quiney said. "The 2012-13 season has been an amazing one for me, fulfilling my ambition of playing international cricket and I am now able to achieve one of my other major cricketing ambitions by playing county cricket.

"Having spoken to Paul Grayson, I am very excited about the plans for Essex this season and I look forward to helping our drive to securing silverware in 2013."

Quiney, 30, will provide valuable experience at the top of the order. Essex have struggled in recent times to find a consistent top three and next season will be without Derbyshire-bound Billy Godleman, and Alviro Petersen, who isn't returning as overseas player. Mark Pettini, primarily a middle-order player and 22-year-old Jaik Mickleburgh were installed as openers towards the end of the last season.

Essex head coach Paul Grayson said the club would look to retain Quiney for the whole season. "We'll revisit the situation after the T20 because obviously Australia are touring over here and he wants to try and make a big impression with them. I've met Rob and spoken to him a few times, he's a quality player and a very good man who comes highly recommended from some good people that we know.

"He's desperate to play county cricket which is great for us and he comes across as an extremely good team player as well and we are delighted to bring him to the club. It's an exciting signing and I'm sure he will have a positive impact on the team."

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