County news April 24, 2015

Middlesex clinch Kyle Abbott deal

ESPNcricinfo staff

Kyle Abbott in World Cup action against Pakistan in Auckland © Getty Images

Middlesex have signed a short-term deal with the South African pace bowler Kyle Abbott. He will join the club at the end of May, to feature in Middlesex's 2015 NatWest T20 Blast campaign subject to formal Cricket South Africa clearance.

Abbott, 27, who is playing for Chennai Super Kings at the IPL, will team up with Middlesex in time for the club's opening Lord's encounter against Kent Spitfires on May 28. He will be available for selection for seven of Middlesex's NatWest T20 Blast matches this season, before joining up with South Africa at the end of June for their tour to Bangladesh.

Abbott helped Hampshire to T20 finals day last season. Middlesex see an aggressive bowler with a knowledge of English conditions with him and an exceptional T20 economy rate of 7.43.

Middlesex's Managing Director of Cricket, Angus Fraser, was delighted by the end of the county's long search. "During the winter the cricket department identified that our priority for a second T20 Blast player was a high quality fast bowler, and we believe in Kyle we have signed someone who will significantly strengthen our T20 side," he said.

"Kyle continues to highlight what a top bowler he is. He was exceptional during the recent World Cup, where he took nine wickets in four games at an average of 14 and conceded just over four runs per over. In a high-scoring tournament these were outstanding figures.

"Everybody at Middlesex is looking forward to working with Kyle and I am sure he will enjoy playing in front of big crowds at Lord's. It is unfortunate we cannot have him for the entire tournament but we are not the only county to have these issues. With this in mind we are already speaking to people about Kyle's replacement for the final six group T20 Blast matches."