KENDAL Cricket Club have completed the signing of Australian hot prospect Alex Doolan as their professional for 2013.
Doolan is expected to arrive the week before the season begins in April and will be available for matches for the Shap Road outfit for the entire season.
The Tasmanian top-order batsman is a regular team-mate of Ricky Ponting in Sheffield Shield games and earlier this season top-scored for Australia A against South Africa with an unbeaten total of 161.
Alex has previous experience of league cricket after playing for Ramsbottom in the Lancashire League in the 2010 season, a pro job that he shared with Ross McMillan, who was playing for Kendal that year, after Ramsbottom lost the services of their regular pro Faf Du Plessis.
The 27-year-old is currently playing for Melbourne Renegades and travelled to Sydney this week to take part in their tie against the Sydney Sixers.
On Sunday, Doolan scored 30 runs off 28 balls for the Renegades in their Big Bang victory against their city rivals Melbourne Stars, which was marred by the incident between Shane Warne and Marlon Samuels during which the Aussie legend threw the ball at the West Indies player, who subsequently through his bat at Warne.
Doolan’s father Bruce also represented Tasmania at first class level in the early 70s.
The batsman looks set to be a direct replacement at the top of the order for last year’s pro, New Zealander Jamie How.
“With Jamie scoring so many runs last year we identified Alex as being somebody who could come back with the same sort of results,” said Kendal captain Chris Miller.
“To score 160-odd runs against the best attack in the world it’s clear how good he is, so hopefully he’ll adapt to our wickets when he gets over here.
“Everybody at the club loves to play with an overseas player and the younger players will be able to look up to Alex and learn from him, which is why I think it’s great to have somebody from abroad as your pro rather than a local guy.
“Looking at the pros other clubs have, signing Alex is massive and it gives us a great edge over the other sides in comparison.”
Miller added that with the addition of Ryan Nelson from Carnforth, another batsman capable of scoring big runs, and with Jack White continuing his improvement even further after wintering in New Zealand, he thinks his side could challenge for honours this season.
“If Jack White comes back better than he was last season then he really is going to be a good player for us this season,” he said.
“Ryan Nelson is capable of getting 600 or 700 runs a year so it’s great to have his experience at the top of the order.
“The pieces that were missing last year we are just about getting filled.”
Meanwhile, Miller is still in a cast after breaking his ankle six weeks ago, but he expects himself to be fit in time for the start of the season in three months time.