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Cricket Australia launch tug-of-war with England for Sam Robson

Sam Robson: Aussies change rules on playing in domestic competition

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Cricket Australia have launched a tug-of-war with England over Middlesex opener Sam Robson.

Australia-born Robson, the leading run-scorer in the LV= County Championship this season, recently qualified for England on residency grounds.

Playing for Middlesex on a British passport barred him from playing domestic cricket in the country of his birth - but Cricket Australia have now changed their rules.

Australian players with dual passports will, from now on, be able to play in more than one domestic competition.

CA's rule change has effectively freed Robson from having to choose between NSW and Middlesex, allowing him to represent both as England and Australia compete for his international loyalties.

CA said in a statement: "A number of Australian-qualified cricketers currently playing in ECB competitions in particular are doing so as a local player, meaning if they play in Australia during the summer they need to do so as an overseas player to retain their ECB eligibility.

In the frame

"However, CA's current overseas player definition prevents someone born in Australia, or holding a valid Australian passport, from qualifying to play here as an overseas player.

"Changes approved (on Friday) will ensure state associations and Big Bash League (T20) teams will be able recruit Australian players without them having to give up their eligibility to play overseas as a local player.

"It will remove the burden on these players to choose which domestic competition to play in."

Robson's father Jim runs the indoor centre at the Sydney Cricket Ground, where the batsman often trains when playing Sydney club cricket during the southern summer.

He could now play against Alastair Cook's Ashes-winning team, with NSW scheduled to take on England in a four-day match in Sydney from November 13, a week before the first Test in Brisbane.

That could even put him in the frame for an Ashes call-up against England, if he chooses to play for Australia.

Other players who had given up their first-class careers in Australia to play as locals in England are now eligible to play in the Sheffield Shield, limited overs and BBL competitions.

These include Glamorgan bowler Michael Hogan - in sensational form all season - and Yorkshire batsman Phil Jaques.

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