County news April 8, 2014

Worcestershire secure New Zealand duo

ESPNcricinfo staff

Worcestershire have managed to secure the services of two New Zealand internationals to add some quality to their squad in a season where they are largely tipped to struggle.

Colin Munro, the hard-hatting left-handed batsman, and left-arm fast bowler Mitchell McClenaghan have been secured for parts of the season.

Munro, 27, will be Worcestershire's second overseas player for the NatWest T20 Blast. He will be available for the whole tournament which begins on Friday May 16. McClenaghan will arrive for six weeks in July and August when Worcestershire's main overseas signing, Saeed Ajmal, competes in the Caribbean Premier League.

McClenaghan will feature in the entire group stage of the Royal London Cup, three T20s and three County Championship matches before Ajmal returns at the back end of the season.

Both players are high-quality acquisitions who featured in New Zealand's World T20 campaign. Munro, who came to the attention of Worcestershire director of cricket Steve Rhodes on pre-season tour to Abu Dhabi with an innings of 47 in 28 balls, scores his T20 runs at a strike-rate of 133.89 while McClenaghan has excelled in his 22 ODIs with 48 wickets at 22.83 - including decisive spells against England last summer.

"Both Colin and Mitch both have real match winning pedigrees," Worcestershire director of cricket Steve Rhodes said. "Colin we came across in Abu Dhabi and I was immediately impressed with the way he struck the ball against us.

"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.

"Mitch will replace Saeed and play three T20 games alongside Colin to give a real Kiwi flavour to our team. "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."

Worcestershire supporters will be pleased that investment has been made in the playing staff with the financial situation tight at New Road - a profit is required to satisfy the clubs bankers. Last season the county made no impression on either one-day competition and finished well off the pace for promotion in the Championship.

Munro said he was "excited and delighted" to be able to take part in the NatWest T20 while McClenghan added: "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 Royal London Cup group matches will also give a focus for success while aiming to make telling contributions in both the NatWest T20 and County Championship matches."