James Neesham has joined the influx of New Zealand internationals playing county cricket this summer after signing for Derbyshire as their second overseas player for the NatWest T20 Blast.
Derbyshire have already recruited Hamish Rutherford and Neil Broom, who holds a British passport, for the 2016 season. Both also play for Otago alongside Neesham, who is expected to be available for all of Derbyshire’s Blast games, with the competition starting up in May.
“The opportunity to play the entire NatWest T20 Blast this summer with Derbyshire is fantastic and it’ll be great to join up with Hamish and Neil,” Neesham said.
“The three of us being able to contribute as a unit is a big attraction and should give us a real head start. Hamish has told me a lot about the club and their ambitions for the NatWest T20 Blast, and I’m looking forward to joining up with the squad later this year.”
Derbyshire have finished bottom of the North Group in the Blast for the last two seasons and have only reached the quarter-finals once, in 2005.
Neesham, who has been capped 41 times and has experience of playing in the IPL, averages 27.24 with the bat and 24.85 with the ball in T20.
Derbyshire’s elite performance director, Graeme Welch, said: “Winning the race to sign James means we can add more quality and experience to our Twenty20 side. He’s an exciting talent, with IPL experience, and has the capability to win games with both bat and ball.
“To have three internationals, all of whom are team-mates in New Zealand, available for the entire NatWest T20 Blast campaign is massive and will provide us with stability on the field and within the dressing room.”
Neesham will come up against a number of his international team-mates during the summer. Tom Latham signed for Kent last week, with Brendon McCullum, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor among a dozen New Zealanders already brought in by counties for 2016.
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