Worcestershire chief executive Mark Newton has vowed to get it right next time on the 'overseas players' front following this year's disastrous signing of Shoaib Akhtar.
Following the success of Tom Moody, Glenn McGrath and Andy Bichel, Newton says that the county are looking to return to an Australian option.
Newton says Australia's most successful Ashes batsman this summer, Justin Langer, is top of the shortlist. Australia's schedule in 2006 means the club can hope to bring a pace bowler from Down Under too.
Newton said: "Although England have won the Ashes this year and Australia are not as strong as they were, Australian cricketers do have qualities that we value highly. We've spoken with Justin Langer and there's no decision yet although we hope to sort something out in the very near future.
"There has also been speculation about Glenn McGrath coming back. At the moment that appears very unlikely. But, in that knowledge, you start talking to other people and I can confirm the other ones we are talking to are Aussies.
"The Australian schedule next summer fits in well. There will inevitably be some calls but only for a week or two and we can work with that. That is good, because we've realised that what we need most is stability. They are generally strong characters and we want what they can give to the dressing-room."
After the three-month Shoaib Akhtar Show, Worcestershire realise they were tuned into the wrong channel. They want a team player capable of making headlines for all the right reasons.
Whichever Australian fast bowler comes next summer, main target Langer would be a positive breath of fresh air after Shoaib (pictured).
The Pakistani Test fast bowler provided one match-winning totesport League performance although it was not enough for his team avoid relegation. There were a couple of wicket-taking sprees in a failed Championship promotion bid.
His lack of fitness, unquestionable selfishness and superior demeanour left him "the worst overseas signing ever made by the club".
* He came; he saw; he rested - is Shoaib Akhtar's spell at Worcestershire the worst ever stint by an overseas signing? Tell us what you think. Click here to send an email - we'll publish your comments online. *
Shoaib returned to Pakistan last night to prepare for a winter confrontation with England with Newton saying that the mid-summer departure of the man who signed him, former coach Moody, within a week of Shoaib arriving was a telling factor.
He said: "We knew the signing of Shoaib was a risk from day one. When Tom first mentioned it, there was an intake of breath. But, while we knew it was going to be a gamble, I don't think we knew just how big a gamble.
"It was a gamble that, in hindsight, probably didn't work primarily because Tom had to move on. It was because of Tom that Shoaib was coming here and, when he got here and Tom wasn't here, any player in the world would have been disappointed.
"That got us off to a bad start. But, from having to deal with him off the field, I still found him quite a likeable guy. He is Bollywood and if he expected the sort of star treatment he's used to, he had to realise that over here there were a few things he had to do for himself.
"You hear words used like 'flawed genius'. But there has clearly been something in his make-up that makes him not want to do it day in day out. Throughout his career he has performed magnificently at times, then the next day he turns up and doesn't perform. But I wouldn't want to go knocking Shoaib and blaming him for everything that has happened.
"My abiding memory would still be that day when he won us the match against Gloucestershire. Probably no other bowler in the world could have produced that.
"And, while he did have an unsettling effect, it would be wrong to say that what happened was all down to him. It's history and we need to learn from it. On the whole, overseas players don't produce the value they used to. We didn't get what we might have expected from any of our four this summer."
He came; he saw; he rested - is Shoaib Akhtar's spell at Worcestershire the worst ever stint by an overseas signing? Tell us what you think. Click here to send an email - we'll publish your comments online.