Charlie Hemphrey: Glamorgan sign Queensland Bulls batsman

Charlie Hemphrey
Charlie Hemphrey played for Kent, Essex and Derbyshire second XIs before moving to Brisbane

Glamorgan have signed Yorkshire-born Queensland batsman Charlie Hemphrey for next season.

The 29-year-old has played Australian state cricket since 2015, averaging 33.

Hemphrey emigrated to Brisbane to work for an airline, before earning a second shot at a professional cricket career.

"(County cricket) is something I've wanted to do, having been basically written off in the county game when I was younger," he told BBC Sport Wales.

His signing on a two-year deal follows that of batsman Billy Root from Nottinghamshire as the county aim to strengthen their top order after finishing bottom in the Championship in 2018.

Hemphrey has been playing alongside Usman Khawaja, who was one of Glamorgan's overseas players in 2018, and also consulted Adam Hollioake, a former England colleague of Glamorgan interim coach Matthew Maynard.

He succeeded via a roundabout route Down Under after playing English second XI cricket for Kent, Essex and Derbyshire.

"I was throwing bags at Brisbane international airport, playing grade cricket and training with Kent's Daniel Bell-Drummond between shifts. I did well in grade cricket, got a go with Queensland through that and here I am," he explained.

"Essentially to be told when I was 19 at Kent I wasn't good enough, to come back 10 years later and to make a success of it would be rewarding, it's going to be a great summer."

Hemphrey's peak season so far has been in 2017-18 when he scored 568 runs in eight Sheffield Shield games, at an average of 43, and he has one further year on his Australian contract.

He has been a regular in 50-overs cricket for Queensland but has not played T20 at the top domestic level, though he hopes to feature in all formats for Glamorgan.

He will have little time to acclimatise if he is involved in the Sheffield Shield final, starting on Wednesday 27 March.

"(British conditions) demand a different skill-set than here (in Australia), but we play at the Gabba which probably represents the most similar conditions," said Hemphrey.

"I'm sure if I apply myself well, I'll have some success."

Glamorgan chief executive Hugh Morris told BBC Sport Wales: "He's very much a late developer but he's hungry, and he's played enough first-class cricket to know the ropes really well.

"He brings some experience to the top order with hundreds in the Sheffield Shield competition, he's very ambitious and he's got a point to prove."

Meanwhile Glamorgan have to wait to learn the availability of their contracted Australia batsman Shaun Marsh, who is likely to feature in the World Cup in the first half of the British summer but has been dropped from the Test side and may not be involved in the subsequent Ashes tour.

The county will advertise for a new head coach in February, when director of cricket Mark Wallace starts his job.

Meanwhile interim boss Maynard looks likely to be in charge when the squad spend a week in the Spanish sports resort of La Manga in March for pre-season training, including warm-up matches against Gloucestershire.