Patel back for Warks title defence

Jeetan Patel took six wickets to bowl out Surrey PA Photos

Warwickshire will welcome back Jeetan Patel, the New Zealand offspinner who took 51 wickets in their Championship-winning campaign last season, as their overseas player for 2013. Patel's form was a key part of Warwickshire's title success and also helped win him a recall with New Zealand.

Patel has played for Warwickshire in three of the last four seasons, taking 74 first-class wickets at 25.72. New Zealand play two Tests in England in May 2013 but Daniel Vettori's expected return to fitness may mean Patel is not required.

"Winning the County Championship with Warwickshire is one of the highlights of my career and with such a strong squad available, I see no reason why we can't push harder for success in all formats next season," Patel said. "The new facilities at Edgbaston have made it one of the best grounds in the world and Birmingham has certainly become my adopted home. I'm looking forward to returning in 2013 and hopefully playing a major part in more success for Warwickshire."

Warwickshire will being their title defence against Division Two champions Derbyshire on April 10, with Patel available for the start of the season. One person who won't be there to welcome the offspinner back is director of cricket, Ashley Giles, who will take charge of England's limited-overs teams in January.

"Jeets is a world-class spinner who's produced many outstanding performances, and is a great role model to the younger players in the squad," the outgoing Giles said. "Whilst I'm moving on to my role with the England team, I'm delighted that the club has been able to secure him as the overseas player for the 2013 season before I depart. His 51 wickets were crucial to winning the County Championship last season, and I know that everyone is looking forward to his return."