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Birmingham Bears sign Matthew Wade for T20 Blast

Matthew Wade in action for Australia
Matthew Wade is set to play six matches for Birmingham Bears in July
©REUTERS / Action Images

Birmingham Bears have signed Australian wicket-keeper Matthew Wade for the final six matches of the NatWest T20 Blast group stage as a replacement for New Zealand's Luke Ronchi.

Ronchi will miss the end of the group stage after being called up for his country's Test tours to Zimbabwe and South Africa but in Wade, Birmingham will replace him with another current international.

The 28-year-old is currently in action for Australia in the One-Day International tri-series in the West Indies, and has to date played 25 T20 Internationals, 65 ODIs and 12 Tests for his country.

His T20 experience includes time with the Delhi Daredevils, Melbourne Renegades and Melbourne Stars, and his signing has delighted Dougie Brown, Director of Cricket at Edgbaston.

"Matthew is an ideal replacement for Luke and a great addition to the squad who will provide power to the middle-order as well as being a top class gloveman," Brown said.

"He has experience of playing the biggest competitions around the world and joins us at a key time as we look to secure our third successive qualification for the NatWest T20 Blast quarter-finals."

Wade will join up with Birmingham in time to play in the away match against Yorkshire Vikings at Headingley on 8th July and his six-match spell will see him appear at Edgbaston against Leicestershire Foxes (17th July) and Notts Outlaws (22nd July).

Birmingham, who won the title in 2014 and were semi-finalists last year, currently sit fourth in the North Group with two wins from four matches and are three points behind leaders Worcestershire.

The top four sides in the group qualify for the quarter-finals and Finals Day will be held at Edgbaston on 20th August.

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