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Matthew Wade signs for Birmingham Bears

Birmingham have signed Australia wicketkeeper batsman Matthew Wade for the final six group games of their NatWest T20 Blast campaign. Wade replaces New Zealand's Luke Ronchi who was called-up for the tour of Zimbabwe and South Africa.

A good enough batsman to have made two Test centuries, Wade is an experienced T20 player having enjoyed a stint in the IPL as well as the Big Bash. He is currently in the Australia team engaged in the tri-series ODI tournament in the Caribbean. He has played 12 Tests, 65 ODIs and 25 T20Is. He will make his Birmingham debut at Yorkshire on July 8.

"Matthew is an ideal replacement for Luke and a great addition to the squad who will provide power to the middle-order as well as being a top-class gloveman," Dougie Brown, the director of cricket at Warwickshire, said.

"He has experience of playing the biggest competitions around the world and joins us at a key time as we look to secure our third successive qualification for the NatWest T20 Blast quarter finals."

Birmingham are currently fourth in the North Group of the NatWest Blast table, with two wins, a loss and a no-result in their first four games.

Warwickshire have also announced the release of two young batmen, Freddie Coleman and Jonathon Webb. Both 24-year-olds will remain on the staff until the end of the season, but be given every opportunity to find another county or alternative work if appropriate.

Coleman, who has played 17 international games for Scotland, represented Warwickshire only once in first-class cricket. Replacing Jonathan Trott at the end of the 2015 season, he suffered a pair against Somerset. Webb played 11 games in the Birmingham side that won the NatWest Blast competition in 2014. He also suffered a pair against Durham in his final first-class game for the club.