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Kiwi flavour added to Worcestershire
WORCESTERSHIRE have snapped up a brace of New Zealanders to bolster their overseas options.
Hard-hitting batsman Colin Munro, 27, will be the County’s second overseas player for the NatWest T20 Blast from mid-May until August alongside Saeed Ajmal.
Left-arm paceman Mitchell McClenaghan will replace Saeed for six weeks in July and August when the Pakistani spinner competes in the Caribbean Premier League.
Director of cricket Steve Rhodes believes the duo, who were part of the Kiwis’ squad for the ICC World Twenty20 tournament in Bangladesh, possess “match-winning pedigree” and will aid the County’s push for honours.
McClenaghan, 27, can play in three NatWest T20 Blast matches, all eight 50-over Royal London One-Day Cup group games and three County Championship fixtures before Saeed returns in August for the rest of the season.
Rhodes said: “Colin and Mitch played in the ICC World Twenty and both have match-winning pedigrees.
“We came across Colin in Abu Dhabi on our recent pre-season tour and I was immediately impressed with the way he struck the ball against us (in making 47 off 28 balls).
“His strike-rate of an equal amount of sixes to fours in T20 cricket shows the way he plays the game and I look forward to him showing some of his boundary-hitting to the Worcestershire fans.”
South Africa-born Munro has a strike-rate of 130 in T20 internationals and his explosive fire-power boosts County hopes of reaching finals day for the first time.
He has played seven ODIs, 14 T20 internationals and one Test.
Munro added: “I am really excited and delighted to have the opportunity to join Worcestershire for the revamped NatWest T20 Blast and look forward to putting in some match-winning performances.”
On McClenaghan, Rhodes said: “Mitch will replace Saeed and play three T20 games alongside Colin to give a real Kiwi flavour to our team.
“His aggressive and quick left-arm bowling will be important in our push in both competitions.”
McClenaghan starred for his country in last summer’s ICC Champions Trophy with 11 wickets in three games before a successful Twenty20 spell with Lancashire.
He figured in all four World Twenty20 matches in Bangladesh, taking four wickets, and has played 22 ODIs and 15 T20 internationals.
McClenaghan said: “The opportunity to play all three forms of the game over my six-week stint will hopefully allow me to make a difference at an important time of the year.”