sport

North ready for county duty

Former Australia Test batsman Marcus North is set for a spell in county cricket after bringing an end to his first-class career at home.

The 34-year-old Western Australia player announced his plans at a news conference in Perth on Thursday, having enjoyed one of the best seasons of his career.

He finished the 2013/14 campaign as the leading run-scorer in the Sheffield Shield but had was a tragic time off the field as his brother died in a car accident in November.

Left-hander North played 21 Tests, two one-day internationals and one Twenty20 for Australia, scoring five Test centuries, including 117 on his debut against South Africa in Johannesburg in February 2009.

"I'm going to sign a contract to play a bit of county cricket," North said.

"That's a fill-in role, so that'd be replacing another international player. I'll take my family over to the UK."

North said he was not able to name the team that have agreed to sign him due to confidentiality issues.

He added: "I've been working on a business plan which is based in the UK. The immediate future is spending quite a lot of time in the UK.

"The future's exciting and I'm looking forward to the different challenges that it's going to present."

North has a Test record of 1,171 runs at an average of 35.48. His final Test came in Adelaide during the 2010/11 Ashes series.

He also took 14 Test wickets with his part-time off-spin, including six for 55 against Pakistan.

While he will no longer play in the Sheffield Shield, North said he plans to honour his contract for next season with the Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash League, Australia's Twenty20 competition.