JAMES FRANKLIN has been unveiled as the target for the shire's oversees player for the 2009 season.
Were the 28-year-old to be secured, it would be a second return to the past for the glos, as Franklin played three championship matches for the shire in 2004.
The left-hander has the ability to take the new ball and will provide variation in the attack. He is able to swing the ball - as England found out to their detriment in 2004 - and is seeking a return to his best form before a knee tendon injury that saw him sit out a majority of the 2006/7 season, and prevented a first-class comeback until last November.
Franklin has potential to develop into a quality all-rounder, having worked hard on his batting, and were he to arrive at Nevil Road in April, the hope would be that his continuing relationship with John Bracewell would see him able to lead the attack for the shire and provide good runs in the lower middle-order.
The signing would, however, limit opportunities for recent signing: youngster Rob Woodman, who would see the all-rounder's slot occupied by Franklin.
Franklin is a name, but doesn't quite hold the same attraction as a Kyle Mills or the youthful exuberance of a Tim Southee. Supporters will perhaps feel his spell in the failed Glamorgan side of 2006 is evidence of his lack of impact in the English game, however, Franklin put in some useful performances in the principality, and the hope will be a more experienced cricketer will be able to propel the shire back to glory.
The New-Zealander has an improving record in first-class cricket. His bowling would suit British conditions and could provide runs at number six. Can the shire close the deal?