County news May 13, 2015

Umar Akmal joins Leicestershire for T20 Blast

ESPNcricinfo staff

Umar Akmal will be available to play four NatWest T20 Blast games for Leicestershire © Getty Images

Leicestershire have announced the signing of Pakistan batsman Umar Akmal to play in the NatWest T20 Blast as cover for Grant Elliott. Akmal will be available to play in four games in June, while Elliott is with New Zealand for their ODI series against England.

"This will be my first time playing T20 for a county and I am very excited to be handed this opportunity," Akmal said. "The club have put their trust in me so I will give my 100 percent efforts to repay their faith."

Akmal was a member of Pakistan's World Cup squad and has played 170 limited-overs internationals for his country. Elliott and Akmal will share the second overseas slot during the Blast, with former Australia international Clint McKay available across all formats.

Leicestershire's head coach, Andrew McDonald, said: "It is brilliant that we are signing a player of Umar's quality for when Grant is on international duty with New Zealand. Our fans should get the chance to see Umar at Grace Road on Friday, June 12, and we are all looking forward to him showcasing his skills over the course of the four games."

Leicestershire, who won the last of their three T20 titles in 2011, begin their Blast campaign on Friday against Lancashire. Akmal is expected to play in fixtures against Northamptonshire, Derbyshire, Warwickshire and Yorkshire.

"It is fantastic to have Umar with us when Grant goes to play for New Zealand," Leicestershire captain Mark Cosgrove said. "Along with Clint, we have high-class overseas players to supplement the young talent we have here."

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