By Rob Barnett
Worcestershire have boosted their NatWest T20 Blast prospects with the signings of New Zealand internationals Colin Munro and Mitchell McClenaghan, with latter being available in other competitions while Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal is at the Caribbean Premier League.
Munro, a hard-hitting batsman, will represent the newly-named Rapids in their entire T20 campaign, from mid-May until August, as a second overseas player alongside Ajmal.
@WorcsCCC looking forward to joining the squad in early July. Pumped to get back on the county scene and win some games!!
— Mitchell McClenaghan (@Mitch_Savage) April 8, 2014
McClenaghan, a left-arm paceman who took 17 wickets for Lancashire Lightning in last year’s T20 tournament, will replace Ajmal for a six-week period in July and August.
McClenaghan will be available for three NatWest T20 Blast matches, all eight of the group games in the Royal London One-Day Cup as well as three LV= County Championship contests before Ajmal returns during the second half of August for the remainder of the season.
Worcestershire director of cricket Steven Rhodes said: "Both Colin and Mitch played in the ICC World Twenty20 and both have real match-winning pedigrees.
"Colin, we came across in Abu Dhabi on our recent pre-season tour and I was immediately impressed with the way he struck the ball against us (in making 47 off 28 balls).
"His strike-rate of an equal amount of sixes to fours in T20 cricket shows the way he plays the game and I look forward to him showing some of his boundary-hitting to the Worcestershire fans.”
Speaking of McClenaghan, Rhodes added: "Mitch will replace Saeed and play three T20 games alongside Colin to give a real Kiwi flavour to our team.
"He will then play eight Royal London One-Day Cup games and three LV= County Championship games and his aggressive and quick left-arm bowling will be important in our push in both competitions. I am really looking forward to working with them."
Munro said: “I am really excited and delighted to have the opportunity to join Worcestershire for the re-vamped NatWest T20 Blast competition and look forward to putting in some match-winning performances.”
McClenaghan said: “The opportunity to play all three forms of the game over my six-week stint will hopefully allow me to make a difference at an important time of the year.
"A full run in all the group Royal London One-Day Cup matches will also give a focus for success while aiming to make telling contributions in both the NatWest T20 Blast and LV=CC matches.”