Overseas stars set for county stints

Travis Head and Kagiso Rabada are the latest international players to sign up to play county cricket during the 2016 season.

The emerging duo join a whole host of superstars set to light up the County Championship, NatWest T20 Blast and Royal London One-Day Cup this summer.

Here ecb.co.uk takes a quick look at who the counties have been signing from overseas.





INS AND OUTS 2015/16

New Zealand
Hamish Rutherford (Derbyshire), Jesse Ryder (Essex), Adam Milne (Essex), Neil Wagner (Lancashire), Brendon McCullum (Middlesex), Mitchell McClenaghan (Middlesex), Ross Taylor (Sussex), Jeetan Patel (Warwickshire), Matt Henry (Worcestershire), Mitchell Santner (Worcestershire), Kane Williamson (Yorkshire).

Brendon McCullum headlines a list of 11 New Zealanders turning out as overseas players on English soil this summer. Retiring from international cricket following the Black Caps’ second Test with Australia, which starts tomorrow, the destructive right-hander will be a major asset to Middlesex as they attempt to improve their disappointing results in limited-overs cricket.

McCullum, who will have compatriot Mitchell McClenaghan for company at Lord’s, lit up the NatWest T20 Blast last summer when hitting an unbeaten 158 – the joint second-highest individual knock in world T20 cricket – for Birmingham Bears last summer.

Kane Williamson, set to be McCullum’s successor as skipper, will return to Yorkshire for a third stint while fellow batsman Ross Taylor, a former New Zealand captain, has been charged with the task of revitalising Sussex’s fortunes under new head coach Mark Davis following relegation to County Championship Division Two.

Hamish Rutherford, Jesse Ryder and Jeetan Patel stick with Derbyshire, Essex and Warwickshire respectively, while Neil Wagner will add experience to Lancashire’s bowling attack in County Championship Division One.

Youngsters Adam Milne, Mitchell Santner and Matt Henry will all get their first taste of county cricket at Essex and Worcestershire respectively. 

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John Hastings (Durham), Michael Klinger (Gloucestershire), Cameron Bancroft (Gloucestershire), Andrew Tye (Gloucestershire), Clint McKay (Leicestershire), Adam Voges (Middlesex), Dan Christian (Nottinghamshire), Peter Siddle (Nottinghamshire), Chris Rogers (Somerset), Aaron Finch (Surrey), Travis Head (Yorkshire).

Australia Test batsman Adam Voges and seamer Peter Siddle will go head-to-head in the Championship top-flight this season after re-signing for Middlesex and Nottinghamshire respectively.

Recently retired Test opener Chris Rogers bolsters an experienced Somerset top-order that includes ex-England international Marcus Trescothick while John Hastings, Clint McKay, who was the Big Bash League leading wicket-taker, Dan Christian and Michael Klinger are back for more at Durham, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Gloucestershire respectively.

Klinger will be joined at the Bristol County Ground by emerging countrymen Cameron Bancroft, a top-order batsman, and Andrew Tye, a death-bowling specialist, and another Aussie, Travis Head, has linked up with Adelaide Strikers coach Jason Gillespie at Yorkshire following some impressive performances Down Under.

Yorkshire’s loss is Surrey’s gain as Aaron Finch, a former Viking, will cover for Kumar Sangakkara at the Kia Oval while the Sri Lanka great is away at the Caribbean Premier League. During his time with the White Rose, big-hitting opener Finch will be best remembered for smacking the top of the Point stand at Emirates Old Trafford during a Roses Blast match and starring in two jaw-dropping relay boundary catches with Adam Lyth.  

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South Africa 
Jacques Rudolph (Glamorgan), Ryan McLaren (Hampshire), Kagiso Rabada (Kent), Rory Kleinveldt (Northamptonshire), Kyle Abbott (Worcestershire).

English audiences will know pacemen Kagiso Rabada and Kyle Abbott well from England’s recent tour of South Africa.

Rabada has burst onto the scene over the last 12 months, taking a hat-trick en route to figures of 6-16 on his one-day international debut against Bangladesh before his match figures of 13-144 versus England at Centurion were the best by a South African on home soil in Test cricket.

Abbott is a regular on the county circuit, having represented Hampshire and Middlesex in the past, and will play for Worcestershire for the latter part of the campaign.

Jacques Rudolph, Ryan McLaren and Rory Kleinveldt are back at Glamorgan, Hampshire and Northamptonshire respectively.


Wahab Riaz (Essex), Umar Akmal (Leicestershire).

Wahab Riaz and Umar Akmal are the only Pakistan internationals in English doemstic cricket this summer so far, signed by Essex and Leicestershire respectively for the Blast.

The Eagles, having also captured New Zealand speedster Adam Milne, have opted for overseas pace in their squad while Umar’s clean ball striking will boost the Foxes’ hopes of a fourth T20 title. 

West Indies

Chris Gayle (Somerset), Dwayne Bravo (Surrey)

Arguably the biggest signing of the winter, Chris Gayle will aim to repeat his 2015 heroics when turning out for Somerset in a six-game spell.

The swashbuckling opening batsman blasted 29 sixes en route to 328 runs in three games, hitting an unbeaten 151 in a losing cause versus Kent Spitfires, and the self-proclaimed ‘Universe Boss’ also proved a big hit off the field.

Dwayne Bravo, an experienced Twenty20 specialist and like Gayle a World T20 winner in 2012, will bring flair to Surrey as they attempt to return to Finals Day for the third time in four years.

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Sri Lanka

Kumar Sangakkara (Surrey)

Sri Lanka may only have one representative in county cricket so far this summer, but what a player he is! Kumar Sangakkara will again turn out for Surrey and be vital in the Oval outfit’s quest for silverware. A classy left-handed top-order batsman, the 38-year-old’s experience will compliment the likes of youngsters Zafar Ansari, Rory Burns and the Curran brothers.  

Source: ECB

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