Leicestershire cancel Will Pucovski overseas deal after latest concussion

Leicestershire have instead secured the services of Australia opener Marcus Harris for the first five games of the County Championship. Harris previously played for the club in 2021, scoring 655 first-class runs at 54.58.

Pucovski was due for his first taste of county cricket before being felled by a Riley Meredith bouncer in Victoria’s Sheffield Shield match against Tasmania. Pucovski, who has had to deal with multiple concussions over the course of his career, was immediately subbed out of the game and has not played since.

Leicestershire had originally signed Pucovski as cover for South African allrounder Wiaan Mulder, linking up with Victoria team-mate Peter Handscomb for the opening rounds of the season.

“It’s a huge shame to lose Will at this stage, but his health must come first,” Leicestershire’s director of cricket, Claude Henderson, said. “Given the proximity to the start of the English season, it has been agreed by all parties to allow him the necessary time to recover, and we want to wish Will all the best as he continues to recuperate in Australia.

“Our recruitment team have been aware of the evolving situation, and we have plans in place to ensure our team is as strong as possible heading into the season. As such, we will be able to announce a new overseas addition shortly.”

Pucovski has been capped once in Tests for Australia, in 2021, and averages 45.19 in first-class cricket, but has spent lengthy spells on the sidelines dealing with concussion and in order to prioritise his mental health.

On the signing of Harris, Henderson hailed the left-hander’s experience and track record, saying: “He knows the club, the players, and the staff well, and that’s a huge advantage to have at the start of the season.”

Harris added: “I’m incredibly excited to get back to Leicestershire and play for the Foxes again after an enjoyable summer a few seasons ago. I have fond memories of the playing group and the staff. With it still being a Covid year we spent a lot of time together, and I really valued the bonds I built with everyone associated with the Club.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to represent Leicestershire again. My goal is to win a few games for the team and have another memorable experience with a great group.”

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