What can the overseas players offer their teams in the Specsavers County Championship this season?
Ahead of the first fixtures of the season this weekend, ecb.co.uk take a look at the impact the overseas players will have on the success of their teams.
— ECB (@ECB_cricket) April 6, 2016
Hamish Rutherford – Derbyshire
Rutherford will be returning for his second season at Derbyshire this term, once again representing them across all three formats. The left-handed opener played just three County Championship games last year, averaging 45.50. But he will be hoping to have more of an impact this season in his role as vice-captain. He also has Test credentials to his name, scoring 171 on debut against England back in March 2013.
Jesse Ryder – Essex
Ryder signed a two-year deal with Essex back in September 2014 which will see him stay with the club until the end of this season. The explosive batsman will be looking to replicate last season’s form, where he hit 1,316 runs for the team across all formats. His useful medium pace should again prove to be a handy tool for his side.
Jacques Rudolph – Glamorgan
Rudolph, 34, certainly has experience on his side having played 48 Tests for South Africa. The stylish opening batsman will be playing his third season for the Welsh side and will once again be leading from the front as captain. A healthy average of just under 40 in the County Championship last year shows he is still more than capable of producing the goods.
Michael Klinger – Gloucestershire
One of the best cricketers on the county scene to have never received an international call-up, Australian Klinger scored over 2,000 runs in all formats in his first year at Gloucestershire back in 2013. His useful contributions with the bat in the County Championship last year were overshadowed somewhat by his exploits in the shorter forms of the game, most notably scoring 531 runs across the year in the Royal London One-Day Cup, averaging an incredible 106.20.
Cameron Bancroft – Gloucestershire
An accomplished wicketkeeper-batsman, Bancroft’s first campaign in English county cricket comes on the back of a fantastic domestic season in his home country Australia last year. He amassed 896 runs at 47.15 in the Sheffield Shield and also earnt himself a Twenty20 international call-up for the national side back in January. The 23-year old certainly has a bright future ahead and will hope to continue his fine form on English soil.
Ryan McLaren – Hampshire
All-rounder McLaren was brought in at the end of last season in an attempt to avoid relegation and didn’t disappoint, taking seven wickets in his first game at Durham and scoring a vital half-century in their last-day victory at Trent Bridge. An accomplished one-day player, McLaren hits the ball hard in the middle order and bowls aggressively.
Kagiso Rabada – Kent
Rabada will be familiar to English cricket fans after an excellent series in South Africa. His match figures of 13-144 at Centurion were the best by a South African on home soil in Test-match cricket. The energetic bowler’s first stint in English cricket should give Kent fans something to smile about and at just 20-years-old, he will only improve with experience.
Tom Latham – Kent
Latham has represented New Zealand regularly in all three formats since coming in to the side in 2012. He has three Test hundreds to his name opening the batting for his national side and will be available at the top of the order for Kent in all cricket. He will benefit from the experience of playing in English conditions during the Black Caps’ Test series last summer.
Neil Wagner – Lancashire
Born and raised in South Africa, Wagner has 19 Test caps to his name for New Zealand. His left-arm swing bowling will suit English conditions and his wickets should be a huge asset to a newly-promoted Lancashire side.
Clint McKay – Leicestershire
Better known for his one-day credentials at international level, Australian McKay will play his second season for Leicestershire this year. He took 58 wickets at an average of just under 25 in the County Championship last year, becoming a key member of the Division Two side.
Adam Voges – Middlesex
Former Nottinghamshire batsman Voges has become an integral member of the Australian Test side over the last year and averages a ridiculous 95.5 from 15 matches. He became the oldest man to score a Test century on debut at 35 and will again bring experience to the Middlesex side this summer.
Rory Kleinveldt – Northamptonshire
Kleinveldt was Northamptonshire’s leading wicket-taker in the County Championship last year, taking 57 across the season. The South African is a big-hitter with the bat, helping Northants get to the 2015 NatWest T20 Blast final.
Jackson Bird – Nottinghamshire
Australian seamer Bird comes in to the Notts side as a like-for-like replacement for the injured Peter Siddle. Bird featured in the recent Australia tour of New Zealand so should be full of confidence ahead of the English season. His ability to move the ball will form part of what could be a formidable partnership with Stuart Broad at the start of the season.
Chris Rogers – Somerset
Former Australia opener Rogers will play for his fifth English county this summer in the next step of his glittering career, in which he has scored nearly 25,000 first-class runs. Rogers, 38, retired from international cricket after last summer’s Ashes and has shown on countless occasions his ability to wear out the opposition’s bowlers with his gritty determination.
Kumar Sangakkara – Surrey
The fifth highest Test run-scorer of all time, Sangakkara will complete his two-year deal with Surrey this season. His remarkable Test average of 57.4 speaks for itself and his runs in the County Championship last year were a key part of Surrey’s promotion back to Divison One.
Aaron Finch – Surrey
Finch will join Surrey as a replacement for Sangakkara while he is playing in the Caribbean Premier League. One of the most accomplished Twenty20 batsmen in the world, Finch is available across all formats for his short stay. He has experience of playing in the County Championship after turning out for Yorkshire last year.
Ross Taylor – Sussex
Experienced New Zealand international Taylor will join Sussex for the first half of the season. An aggressive top-order batsman, he has proved he is more than capable of dismantling any bowling attack in the world and will surely give Sussex a huge boost early on in their quest to return to the top-flight.
Jeetan Patel – Warwickshire
Off-spinner Patel has been a regular for Warwickshire since 2009, playing every season apart from one. He was their leading wicket-taker in the County Championship last year with 58 and has previously turned down an international call-up to honour his commitments to Warwickshire. He is also capable of producing with the bat, averaging a shade under 26 last season.
Matt Henry – Worcestershire
Explosive pace bowler Henry will play for Worcestershire until June, when he will make way for Kyle Abbott. Henry brings raw pace to the bowling line-up and has already played four Tests and 25 one-day internationals for New Zealand, proving he is capable of playing alongside the world’s best.
Kyle Abbott – Worcestershire
South-African Abbott will return to the County Championship with Worcestershire in the second half of the season, having previously turned out for Hampshire and Middlesex. A tall pace bowler, Abbott has experience at Test level and will be hoping that his wickets help Worcestershire earn a promotion back to Division One.
Kane Williamson – Yorkshire
Williamson will join Yorkshire for a third season in a row on the back of his most successful year yet. The third ranked ICC Test batsman scored 2,633 international runs in 2015 at an average of 65.82 and brings quality to any batting line-up. He is available for the county until July 18, when he will then join up with New Zealand.
Travis Head – Yorkshire
Head’s T20 credentials were noticed across the world during the Big Bash League, where he smashed 299 runs at an average of 42.71. The 22-year-old left-hander is yet to prove himself in English conditions, but was named Sheffield Shield Player of the Year for 2015/16. He will make his debut in the County Championship following the departure of Williamson in July.