Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor and Surrey captain Rory Hamilton-Brown will both play in this year's HRV Cup for Wellington. The former Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan is also one of Wellington's overseas players.
Taylor is available for the whole tournament which begins on December 18 against Auckland. Muralitharan will play in the first five rounds, having initially signed for the duration of the tournament, and Hamilton-Brown from the sixth round onwards.
Wellington director of cricket Robbie Kerr was delighted with the quality that they have been able to attract. "Murali's record over a number of years speaks for itself," he said. "He is the greatest Test and ODI wicket taker of all time and to have him in the Firebirds this summer is very exciting."
Muralitharan retired from Test cricket in 2010 with a world-record 800 wickets but he has continued to play T20 cricket for Chennai Super Kings and Kochi Tuskers Kerala in the IPL and Gloucestershire in the Friends Life t20.
Kerr is also pleased to have two players with captaincy experience on board. "Having two captains join our squad will add hugely to the leadership within our team during the HRV Cup competition," he said. "Brendan is an extremely impressive young man and his recent form at international level has been outstanding."
Taylor, 25, has been the Zimbabwe captain since June and became the first Zimbabwean to score consecutive ODI centuries when he made 128 not out and 107 not out against New Zealand in October.
"Rory Hamilton-Brown comes highly regarded by England coach Andy Flower," said Kerr. "For a player to captain his county at the age of 22 emphasises how highly he is thought of. His match-winning innings in the English county 40-over final recently, showed what Rory is capable of on the big stage. He is an extremely ambitious young man."
Together with his 78 from 62 balls in the Clydesdale Bank 40 final, Hamilton-Brown, the youngest Surrey captain for 138 years, also led Surrey to promotion back to Division One of the County Championship.