Copdock & OIs pull off major coup with signing of Aussie Test star

Peter George, who will play for Copdock & Old Ipswichians in the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier L

Peter George, who will play for Copdock & Old Ipswichians in the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League this season - Credit: AAP/Press Association Images

COPDOCK & Old Ipswichian have pulled off a “fantastic signing” ahead of the new season.

The ambitious club, who are situated just outside Ipswich, have signed Australian Test bowler Peter George as their overseas player.

The 26-year-old, whose one Test cap came against India in October 2010, will be available to play the whole Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League season in this Ashes summer.

George, whose Test selection followed a prolific Sheffield Shield season in 2009/10, took two for 28 on his debut from 21 overs including the prized scalp of superstar Sachin Tendulkar as his first Test victim.

The right-arm fast bowler’s call-up came on the back of 36 wickets at 30.44 in Australia’s domestic season which included eight for 84 against Tasmania – the best-ever figures recorded at the Bellerive Oval.

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Copdock & OI skipper Chris Swallow said that the club had swooped to sign George after missing out on 21-year-old fast bowler West Indian Jason Holder, who was their original choice of overseas player.

Swallow said: “We originally signed Jason Holder, but he was called up by the West Indies and was then subsequently bought in the IPL auction.

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“We could have held him to his contract, but we were not going to stop him from playing in the IPL.

“Our requirement was for a fast opening bowler and Peter George’s name came up through an agent.”

Copdock finished sixth in their inaugural season in the EAPL last season, after winning promotion from the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship in 2011.

Sawllow continued: “It is a fantastic signing for us and shows how far the club have come in recent years. It also illustrates what we are trying to achieve at the club.

“He is a well established player who we are hoping will hit the ground running. He will lead our bowling attack and also hopefully bring on the youngsters.”

George, who plays his domestic cricket for South Australia, is due to arrive in mid-April and is expected to be available for the whole season.

“We will only release him if he is called up to play international cricket, but hopefully he will be available for the whole season,” added Swallow.

As well as helping out with the first team, George will also coach the under-15 and ladies’ sides at Copdock.

Also joining Copdock this season are Tom Rash, the Bury St Edmunds and Suffolk all-rounder, wicket-keeper and batsman Sam Webb-Snowling from Ipswich and Hadleigh all-rounder Sam Handley, who played for Suffolk Under-17s last season.

Swallow said: “Tom Rash will strengthen both our seam bowling and batting, Sam Webb-Snowling will be pushing for a first-team place and Sam Handley is a promising young player who is eligible for Suffolk U17s again this season.”

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