Worcestershire clinch Abbott deal
Worcestershire have signed Kyle Abbott, the South African pace bowler, as their overseas player for the second half of the 2016 campaign - subject to him obtaining a visa and a No Objection Certificate from Cricket South Africa.
Abbott, a regular member of South Africa's ODI and T20I squads, including the series last month against India, is scheduled to be available for Worcestershire from early July until the end of the season. South Africa have two Tests against New Zealand in that period, but he does not anticipate being called into the squad.
Promotion will be the priority for Worcestershire, whose reputation as county cricket's Yo-Yo club remained intact when they were relegated from Division One last year.
Steve Rhodes, Worcestershire's director of cricket, had indicated he wanted to sign another quality pace bowler to aid the trio of Joe Leach, Jack Shantry and Charlie Morris who sterlingly bore the brunt of the workload in 2015. They bowlewd more than 1400 Championship overs between them and were among the hardest-worked pace bowlers in the country.
"It is very exciting to welcome Kyle on board for the last three months of next season," Rhodes said. "He will be available after the Tri-Series in the Caribbean with Australia and the West Indies in June. To have him for an extended period of time, July, August, September, I think he will be a real asset
"He will pass on, I'm sure, some excellent experience to our younger bowlers and we know he is the type of person that will fit into our dressing room as well. We look forward to him doing well. He is not just a Test match bowler, he is a one-day bowler and he has also got good T20 skills. He will potentially be playing in all three formats."
Abbott has to date played three Tests for South Africa and on his debut in 2013 returned the outstanding figures of 7 for 29 against Pakistan at Centurion when his victims included current captain Misbah-ul-Haq and the former Worcestershire spinner Saeed Ajmal.
He has previous experience of county cricket with Hampshire in 2014, helping them to promotion from Division Two of the Championship with 36 wickets in nine matches at 20.33 runs apiece.
He also made 12 appearances that season for Hampshire in the NatWest T20 Blast - a competition he played in last summer for a six-match spell with Middlesex.
As a Division Two side, Worcerstershire will regard him as quite a coup. His 232 first-class wickets have come at 21.30 apiece and he was also signed up by Chennai Super Kings in 2015 to play in the Indian Premier League.