FORMER New Zealand Test all-rounder Daryl Tuffey will play for Lavington this season.
Tuffey, who played 26 Test matches and 94 one-day internationals for the Kiwis, will relocate to the Border with his family from Sydney later this year.
The 39-year-old will play several matches for the Panthers in the lead-up to Christmas before joining the club on a full-time basis.
He will spend the early part of the 2017-18 season at Bankstown.
Lavington coach Robbie Mackinlay said the Panthers were put in touch with Tuffey through contacts in Sydney.
“To get Daryl on board will be brilliant for the players and club,” Mackinlay, who has been re-appointed for a fifth term, said.
“He’s a fantastic person and very keen to make an impact on and off the field.
“Not too many international cricketers with over 120-games at the highest level come along.
“He was impressed with the club’s culture and direction.”
Tuffey, who is set to push 130kmph opening the bowling as well as batting in the middle-order, committed to Lavington after meeting officials last weekend.
He made his Test debut against Australia in 1999-2000 and turned in a career-best performance of 6-54 at Eden Park to help New Zealand square the Test series against England in 2001-02.
Tuffey was New Zealand’s regular opening bowler in Test and ODI sides but had his share of breakdowns, including a damaged shoulder in 2005 which kept him out of the side for the best part of two years.
His highest Test score was 80 not out.
The tall Kiwi was also a member of three New Zealand World Cup campaigns and had the uncanny knack throughout his career of taking a wicket in his opening over.
His bowling was often compared to fellow New Zealander Ewan Chatfield.
Lavington, who finished runner-up to Wodonga last season, has also picked up Wagga’s Matthew Tom and former Panther Andrew Taylor.
“We haven’t lost anyone from last year’s side and, to get a few extras along the way, should make us very competitive again,” he said.
“While Daryl is really keen to resume his playing career, we see so many other benefits with him than just on the field.”
Lavington will hold its season launch at The Astor Hotel from 12pm on Sunday with all senior and junior players welcome.
Article: Courtesy The Border Mail by Brett Kohlhagen
Photo: The Border Mail