Bears pin faith again in de Grandhomme impact

Colin de Grandhomme sent the ball to all parts Getty Images

Birmingham Bears have announced the return of explosive New Zealand all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme as the dedicated T20 overseas player for 2018.

De Grandhomme, who scored the second fastest Test century by a New Zealander in December off just 71 balls, will be available for all games in next year's T20 Blast campaign after helping the Bears to the final at Edgbaston in 2017.

Ashley Giles, Warwickshire's sport director, said: "I spoke about Colin being a moneyball player when we announced his signing last year. He was still establishing himself in the international game, but had made plenty of game-changing performances for Auckland. We also recognised that he is an outstanding character who would be a good addition to the dressing room.

"He went on to play a huge role on our path to the final last year and we saw him change the outlook of several games very quickly, particularly his innings against Derbyshire Falcons at home, and Northants Steelbacks and Surrey away."

De Grandhomme played in Birmingham Bears' 16 NatWest T20 Blast games in 2017, scoring 322 runs at a prodigious strike rate of 170.32 and taking five wickets.

"We came very close to winning the T20 Blast on Finals Day," Grandhomme said. "We've got a young squad with plenty of firepower, and I believe that we have every chance of going one step further in 2018."