Warwickshire have signed Martin Love as their second overseas player for the 2007 season.
Love, a prolific right-hander batsman, has signed a one-year deal and is expected to be available for the entire season.
The club abandoned their attempt to sign Justin Langer after the player prevaricated over his decision. He did not want to commit to any county until the end of the Ashes series, while Warwickshire were keen to reach an early conclusion.
Though not as well-known as Langer, 32-year-old Queenslander Love is arguably a better acquisition. Deemed surplus to commands by national selectors with an embarrassment of riches at their disposal, he is unlikely to be called away on international duty, while his track record in county cricket is excellent.
Love enjoyed three spells with Durham (2001-2003) and two with Northants (2004-2005) before taking last summer off to be with his young family. If he can replicate his first-class county average of over 60, Warwickshire will be more than satisfied.
Like fellow Queenslander Stuart Law, Love can county himself unfortunate to have played so little Test cricket. He compiled two double-centuries against the touring England side of 2002-2003, forcing his way into the Test side, and made an unbeaten half-century on debut. Indeed, his last Test innings - against Bangladesh in 2003 - was an unbeaten century.
Warwickshire hopes that Love's insatiable appetite for batting will stiffen their top-order after a year of struggle. Love boasts a first-class average in excess of 50 and holds the record first-class scores for Durham (273) and Queensland (300*).
A slight concern lingers over his List A record, however, while it remains to be seen whether he opens the batting or goes in at three.
Mark Greatbatch, Warwickshire's director of coaching said: "It was important that we signed a top quality batsman to replace Nick Knight and we are delighted that Martin will be joining us next season. He is a player with a proven pedigree, a winning attitude and an excellent work ethic."
Warwickshire still hope to improve their limited overs side by signing Darren Maddy. The 32-year-old is now out of contract at Leicestershire and Warwickshire are quietly confident that he will join them. Although Sussex are also interested, the player is understood to be reluctant to move house or disrupt his family's routines.
The signing of two high order batsmen would suggest that opportunities for some established names at Edgbaston will be limited. After a poor season, however, few could claim that reinforcements were not necessary.
Warwickshire have now completed discussions and reached agreements with all pre-existing members of the playing staff.