County news March 5, 2013

Worcestershire sign Oram for T20

Worcestershire have signed New Zealand allrounder Jacob Oram as an overseas player for their 2013 Friends Life t20 campaign.

Oram, 34, is one of a raft of players to have retired from other forms of cricket to allow him to pursue a career as a T20 specialist. He negotiated his release from his New Zealand central contract just before Christmas and, having just played in the Bangladesh Premier League, will also appear in the IPL for Mumbai Indians.

"The opportunity to play for Worcestershire in this season's competition was something I could not turn down," Oram said. "While I have never played county cricket, it has always been a goal of mine so I am very excited at the prospect.

"Another attraction to Worcestershire was the chance to play at the picturesque New Road cricket ground. I have played a few games there for New Zealand, in 2004 and 2008, as well as the New Zealand Youth Team in 1996. It's a beautiful ground and one that I will be privileged to call home, at least for a month."

Worcestershire are one of only two counties - Derbyshire are the other - never to have progressed beyond the quarter-final stages of the domestic T20 competition. But they did make it to the quarter-finals in 2012 for just the third time in the 10-year history of the competition and Rhodes hopes that Oram's versatility will help them go a step further in 2013.

"I have admired Jacob's all-round qualities for some time now and his t20 experience, which he has gained from global competitions, is a major plus factor in our desire to have a successful Friends Life t20 campaign," Worcestershire's director of cricket, Steve Rhodes, said. "He can bowl at the start, middle or end of the innings and can clear the ropes as a batsman, so our supporters will enjoy watching his exciting performances."

Oram made his ODI debut for New Zealand in January 2001 and played his first Test the following year. During a career frequently interrupted by injury, Oram played 160 ODIs, 33 Tests and 36 Twenty20s. A big-hitting batsman and canny medium-pace bowler, he will be of several allrounders in the Worcestershire side along with Gareth Andrew, Aneesh Kapil, Moeen Ali and the club's other overseas player, Thilan Samaraweera.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo