John Hastings: Worcestershire's Australia all-rounder reports fit for season's duty
Worcestershire's summer signing John Hastings has reported fit to New Road for a full season's duty.
There were doubts over the Australia all-rounder's fitness when he tore a knee tendon on 6 December while playing for state side Victoria.
Worcestershire initially looked to sign a replacement overseas player as cover for the first half of the season.
But Hastings has now flown into England in readiness for Worcestershire's Championship opener on 14 April.
He will link up with the rest of the squad this week when they return from the pre season camp in Abu Dhabi, where they played two matches against Warwickshire.
Before Worcestershire's Division Two campaign gets underway, they face the Leeds & Bradford MCCU students in a three-day first-class fixture at Weetwood, in Leeds, starting on 7 April.
"John is really excited and looking forward to getting going and cracking on," said new Worcestershire skipper Joe Leach, who inherited the captaincy from Daryl Mitchell over the winter months.
"He comes across as someone who is just going to be brilliant for our dressing room. I've heard a lot about him from the Durham lads and there is no-one I spoke to said a bad word about him.
"He is exactly what we need. He wants to come here and win, he wants to come here and do well for us. He has worked his backside off by all accounts to make sure he is fit to play for us and he has come over early."
John Hastings' career details
Sydney-born Hastings has won one Test cap and also played 28 one-day internationals and nine T20 matches for Australia.
Hastings played in England for Durham in both 2014 and 2015, when he took seven second-innings wickets at New Road to turn a likely defeat into a Durham victory. But his hopes of returning in 2016 were thwarted by a shoulder injury.
"His qualities as a cricketer speak for themselves," said Leach. "He is someone of proven international pedigree who has taken wickets in the Sheffield Shield and has taken wickets over here for Durham."
He has also played Twenty20 cricket in the Big Bash for Melbourne Stars and for Kochi Tuskers Kerala, Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League.
Worcestershire also have New Zealand all-rounder Mitchell Santner booked to return for T20 Blast duty in July, following last year's injury-ruined campaign.