Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

County Swoop To Sign South African Pace Ace Abbott For 2Nd Half Of 2016 Season

County Swoop To Sign South African Pace Ace Abbott For 2Nd Half Of 2016 Season

Worcestershire have swooped to sign South African paceman Kyle Abbott as their overseas player for the second half of the 2016 campaign – subject to him obtaining a Visa plus a No Objection Certificate from Cricket South Africa.

Worcestershire Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes is convinced Abbott will be "a real asset" to the County.

Abbott, a regular member of the Proteas ODI and T20I squads including the series last month against India, will be available to play for Worcestershire from early July through until the end of September.

The 28-year-old has previous experience of county cricket with Hampshire in 2014, helping them to promotion from Division Two of the LV= County Championship with 36 wickets in nine matches at 20.33 runs apiece.

He also made 12 appearances that season for Hampshire in the NatWest T20 Blast – a competition he played in last summer for a six match spell with Middlesex.

Abbott has to date played three Tests for South Africa and on his debut in 2013 returned the superb figures of 7-29 against Pakistan at Centurion when his victims included current captain Misbah-ul-Haq and ex Worcestershire spinner Saeed Ajmal.

He has a formidable record in first class cricket with 232 wickets in 61 matches at 21.30 with a best return of 8-45 and five wickets in an innings on 14 occasions and was also signed up this year by Chennai Super Kings to play in the Indian Premier League.

Rhodes had indicated he wanted to sign another quality pace bowler to aid the trio of Joe Leach, Jack Shantry and Charlie Morris who bore the brunt of the workload in 2015 – and Abbott certainly fits the bill.

Rhodes said: "It is very exciting to welcome Kyle on board for the last three months of next season. He will be available after the Tri-Series in the Caribbean with Australia and the West Indies in June.

"To have him for an extended period of time, July, August, September, I think he will be a real asset. 

"He will pass on I'm sure some excellent experience to our younger bowlers and we know he is the type of person that will fit into our dressing room as well and the right character for our dressing room.

"We look forward to him doing well. He is not just a Test match bowler. He is a one-day bowler and he has also got good T20 skills. All three formats, he potentially will be playing."

Abbott said: "I enjoyed my previous time in county cricket and hope I can play my part in helping Worcestershire get back into Division One of the Championship – as I did with Hampshire in 2014 – and also making an impact in white ball cricket.

"They came close to staying up last season and have a good squad of young players who are only going to get better the more experience they accrue.

"Hopefully I can play my part in terms of taking wickets and passing on any advice that may be helpful."