County news September 16, 2015

Umar Akmal, Kevin O'Brien re-sign for Leicestershire

ESPNcricinfo staff

Umar Akmal struck two half-centuries in his brief T20 spell with Leicestershire © Getty Images

Leicestershire have continued the processing of strengthening for the 2016 season by confirming the returns of Umar Akmal and Kevin O'Brien. Both will feature in the NatWest T20 Blast while O'Brien will play in the Royal London Cup as well.

Akmal and O'Brien enjoyed successful T20 spells at Grace Road this season. Akmal, signed as short-term cover for Grant Elliott, topped the club's averages by scoring 133 runs in three innings for once out, while O'Brien made 160 runs at a strike rate of 139.13 to go with five wickets in his seven appearances.

The signings follow news that experienced batsmen Paul Horton and Neil Dexter will join from Lancashire and Middlesex respectively. Allrounder Wayne White has also returned to the club.

Leicestershire's chief executive Wasim Khan said: "We saw the positive influence that Umar and Kevin had during their time at the club this year. They are exciting cricketers to watch, have experience at the highest level, and are both matchwinners with their clean, powerful striking of the ball.

"They showed their ability by both having an immediate impact with Kevin batting beautifully in his first game at Lancashire and Umar playing our best innings of the tournament at Nottinghamshire on debut. I know our members and supporters enjoyed watching them play and we are excited to welcome both players back to Grace Road."

Leicestershire, in their first season under a new management team of Khan, coach Andrew McDonald and captain Mark Cosgrove, started the Blast season well, winning four of their first eight matches, before tailing off to finish seventh in the North Group.

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