Glamorgan have signed Charlie Hemphrey, the English-born top-order batsman who currently plays for Queensland. Hemphrey, 29, has agreed a two-year contract with the Welsh county.
Hemphrey's route to professional cricket was a circuitous one. After spending several years trying unsuccessfully to break into the county game, he moved to Brisbane and impressed enough in Grade cricket to be picked up by Queensland. He made his first-class debut in the Sheffield Shield in 2015 and has since averaged 33.02 with four hundreds.
Hemphrey will be registered as a local player with Glamorgan, but may have to switch to overseas status with Queensland, where he has another year on his contract. Although he has permanent residency in Australia, according to ECB regulations he cannot play as a non-overseas player in both countries.
His arrival will strengthen a Glamorgan squad that struggled to put runs on the board in 2018, finishing bottom of the Division Two of the Championship. The club removed head coach Robert Croft from his position, while Hugh Morris stepped down as director of cricket in order to focus on his role as chief executive.
"It's always been my ambition to play first-class cricket in the UK so I am very thankful to Glamorgan for giving me this opportunity," Hemphrey said. "With the changes in the cricket department it's a very exciting time to join the club. Hopefully I can continue to put in some good performances for Queensland and bring that form to Glamorgan this season."
Hemphrey's involvement with Queensland could mean that he won't arrive in Cardiff until days before the start of the season. The Sheffield Shield final is scheduled for March 27-31, with the Bulls looking to defend the title they won last year. Glamorgan begin their Championship season against Northamptonshire on April 11.
"Charlie is a very good cricketer who has blossomed in the past few years since playing in Australia," Morris said. "He has scored runs in challenging batting conditions against some very good bowling attacks so will add valuable experience and skill at the top of the order.
"With his signing and that of Billy Root, we now have competition for places within the batting line-up, which will only help the development of our young pathway players."