Blackwell bolsters Warwickshire title push
Warwickshire have covered the absence of Jeetan Patel by capturing Durham all-rounder Ian Blackwell on a one-month loan deal.
The former England international will link up with the Edgbaston club prior to their Clydesdale Bank 40 fixture against the Unicorns on August 19 and be available until the end of the season.
His left-arm spin is sure to prove a useful asset as Warwickshire push for glory on two fronts; they currently lead the LV= County Championship and are in contention for a CB40 semi-final berth, but will soon lose off-spinner Patel due to his involvement in New Zealand’s tour of India.
Warwickshire director of cricket Ashley Giles said: “Ian is a very experienced cricketer, with almost 400 first-class wickets and international honours.
“With Jeetan Patel away for the next four weeks ... Ian will play an important role as the senior spinner in the team.
“He joins us after taking seven wickets against Australia A two weeks ago and with key matches coming up in the LV County Championship and CB40, we're very pleased to secure his services. I would like to thank Geoff Cook and Durham for allowing us to bring Ian to Warwickshire on loan.”
Blackwell has fallen out of favour at the Emirates Durham ICG this summer and is understandably relishing the new challenge that awaits him in Birmingham.
“I'm pleased to have the opportunity to go on loan to Warwickshire and play some first-team cricket,” said the 34-year-old.
“It’s been frustrating not being selected at Durham and I’m keen to get out there and prove not only my fitness, but also that I can still make match-winning contributions.
“I want to be back playing for Durham and this is a means of achieving that.”
Durham head coach Cook added: “This is a great opportunity for Ian to play first-class cricket and get some time in the middle against strong opposition.
“Our current first XI have built some real momentum in four-day cricket and as a result opportunities for Ian to break back into the squad, due to the conditions and surfaces that we have been faced with, have been limited.
“It is important for him to get some cricket under his belt and going on loan to Warwickshire allows him to do that.”