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Derbyshire sign James Neesham for NatWest T20 Blast

Derbyshire sign James Neesham for NatWest T20 Blast
James Neesham has scored 102 runs and picked 11 wickets for New Zealand from 13 T20Is.
©REUTERS / Action Images

Derbyshire have added New Zealand all-rounder James Neesham to their squad for the upcoming season of the NatWest Twenty20 Blast as their second overseas player.

Neesham is expected to be available for the entire season of the NatWest T20 Blast and will play alongside his Otago teammates Hamish Rutherford and Neil Broom.

To cover for the absence of Sri Lanka's Tillakaratne Dilshan, Rutherford was signed by Derbyshire in May 2015 whereas Broom, who has a British passport was offered a two-year contract in September 2015. 

Terming the chance to play for Derbyshire as “fantastic”, Neesham is excited to team up with his domestic teammates and play the entire season.

“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.” 

The 25-year-old has played 57 T20 matches in his career and has scored 790 runs at a strike-rate of 138.35 while also accounting for 42 wickets at an average of 24.85.

Apart from playing for Otago, Neesham also has the experience of playing in the Indian Premier League and the Caribbean Premier League.

Elite performance director of Derbyshire, Graeme Welch feels that the addition of Neesham to the squad along with Rutherford and Broom will provide stability to the side both on the ground and in the dressing room.

“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.”

Derbyshire will begin their campaign in the 2016 NatWest T20 Blast with a game against Lancashire on 21st May at the Old Trafford in Manchester.

© Cricket World 2016