Tim Southee, the New Zealand fast bowler, has signed for Middlesex as their second overseas player for the NatWest T20 Blast. His arrival to play under the captain and coach combination of Brendon McCullum and Daniel Vettori - both former New Zealand team-mates of Southee - gives a strong Black Caps feel to Middlesex in the shortest format.
Southee, who is currently playing for Mumbai Indians at the IPL, will link up with Middlesex in early July and is expected to be available for 13 group matches (out of 14), as well as the knockout stages, potentially.
"Tim is one of the leading fast bowlers in the world. He has plenty of experience in T20 cricket and looks to bowl in the periods where we feel we could be better," Angus Fraser, Middlesex's managing director of cricket, said. "We look forward to welcoming him to Lord's."
Southee previously played county cricket for Essex in 2011, when he took 22 wickets during the Friends Life t20, as well as scoring his only T20 half-century - 74 off 34 balls opening the batting against Hampshire. Overall, he has taken 139 T20 wickets with an economy of 8.26.
"I'm excited to be joining Middlesex this year for the NatWest T20 blast and helping the club throughout the T20 competition," Southee said. "When the opportunity come up to play for Middlesex it wasn't a tough decision to make and I'm looking forward to calling Lord's home while I'm there."