Sussex keeps Goodwin at Bevan's expense

Published: Friday, October 12, 2001, 22:16 [IST]
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London: English county Sussex announced on Friday that former Zimbabwe batsman Murray Goodwin has agreed a new two-year contract that will see him stay at the South Coast Club until 2003.
 Goodwin, 28, was brought in as cover for Australian One-day specialist Michael Bevan who was a member of the Ashes tour party that came to England earlier this year. But any thoughts about him being a mere 'stop-gap' were put to one side as the right- hander, who also plays for Western Australia, scored 1654 first-class runs for Sussex at an average of 61.25 including seven hundreds, his efforts crucial to the Hove-based side winning the County Championship Second Division title. A club statement said, "This obviously means that Michael Bevan will not be coming back next year and we would like to take this opportunity to thank him for all he has done for the club both on and off the field." English counties are only allowed one overseas player on their staff. Goodwin announced his retirement from international cricket last year following the conclusion of Zimbabwe's tour of England. The relative lack of money on offer for representing his country, compared to what he could earn if he restricted himself just to first-class cricket, was believed to be a major factor in his decision. With many overseas players increasingly unable to complete a full English domestic season because of international appearances, Sussex know that they will have first- call on Goodwin and that may have been another reason for the club's decision to retain him over Bevan as they bid to stay in English cricket's top flight.

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