Smith confident that deal for Bird will be finalised soon

Northants chief executive David Smith is confident an overseas player will be on board soon

Northants chief executive David Smith is confident an overseas player will be on board soon

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Northamptonshire chief executive David Smith says that the club’s overseas player slot should be filled in the next few days by Australian seamer Jackson Bird.

Negotiations with the New South Welshman, who plays his state cricket for Tasmania and has appeared in three Test matches for his country, have progressed well and the County expect to be in a position to announce their latest capture early next week.

Bird was mentioned as a possible recruit last winter before a deal for Trent Copeland materialised and once the latter’s ineligibility for 2014 became known, he emerged as the County’s top target this time around.

If he does come, it will be for a period that includes 10 County Championship fixtures and the opening skirmishes of the Twenty20 competition.

As with all contracts of this kind in the modern environment there are myriad facotrs that have to be incorporated and agreed to, mainly regarding international schedules and the ever-present entity that is the Indian Premier League, and Smith admitted that there have been a few clauses that have had to be included or ironed out.

He said: “The terms and conditions have been accepted, which is good news, and it’s been a case of amending the contract slightly in certain areas.

“We’re just waiting for a signed copy to be returned and that should take place in the next couple of days.

“Touch wood, it’s been fairly straightforward and hopefully we’ll have something to show for our efforts shortly.”