MARK Waugh is among the players Durham are considering as a temporary replacement for Martin Love at the start of next season.

Following his selection for the last two Ashes Tests, there is every chance that Love will be in the Australian squad to tour the West Indies in April and May.

"He has indicated he would come straight here from the West Indies, but he would miss the first three County Championship matches and three one-day games," said Durham chairman Bill Midgley.

"We have noted that one of the Waugh twins has retired from Test cricket and we will speak to him to see if he is interested."

Waugh helped out his former county, Essex, in similar circumstances at the end of last season, replacing Andy Flower, who was required by Zimbabwe.

Regarded as just about the classiest batsman of his generation, 37-year-old Waugh began his two-match stint for Essex against Durham at the Riverside and made 117.

Durham signed Victorian batsman Brad Hodge as a replacement for Love, who scored a double century against Middlesex at Lord's at the end of May then broke a finger in the next match and missed the rest of the season.

But Hodge will not be available next season as he has been snapped up by Leicestershire as one of their two overseas players.

Counties are also allowed two substitutes in the event of their overseas men being required for international duty.

Durham's other choice, paceman Dewald Pretorius, has played in one Test but has not featured in recent South Africa squads.

That could change, however, as Nantie Hayward has opted out of the tour to England next summer, and signed for Worcestershire instead.

Midgley added: "We can't start the season without one of our overseas men. We will be looking around to see who is available because we need a good start to the season after what happened last year."

Love was behind his predecessor at Durham, Simon Katich, in the Australian pecking order, but leapt up the rankings by scoring double hundreds against England for both Queensland and Australia A.

Katich will not be available as he has signed for Hampshire.

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