Nelson have signed Australian Test off spinner Nathan Hauritz as professional for 2005.
It is something of a risk for the Seedhill club with the 23 year-old a possible Ashes tourist during the summer after making his Test debut in November against India in Mumbai. The Queenslander had an impressive debut taking 3-16 in the first innings and following up with the wickets of Tendulkar and Laxman in the final innings of the match in his only Test to date.
Hauritz, a right handed batsman, has represented his country in eight One Day Internationals and is a former captain of Australia's Under 19 side. Since making his First-class debut in 2001-02, Hauritz has played in 30 matches with a highest score of 94 with the bat and a best of 4-95 in picking up 54 wickets. In one day games he averages 20.6 with the bat and 25.2 with the ball in picking up 76 victims.
The young Australian will be Nelson's 11th Australian professional and a welcome addition to 2005's list. Amongst the club's former Australians are Ted MacDonald, Neil Hawke, Ray Lindwall, Steve Waugh and more recently the record breaking Joe Scuderi, who is now in the club's amateur ranks.