Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

Rhodes Swoops To Sign New Zealand Star Santner For Second Spell

Rhodes Swoops To Sign New Zealand Star Santner For Second Spell

Worcestershire CCC have re-signed all-rounder Mitchell Santner as their main overseas player for the 2017 NatWest T20 Blast – and Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes says the New Zealander has "some unfinished business" at New Road.

Santner will link up with the Rapids after the conclusion of the ICC Trophy which is being held in England throughout June.

The 24-year-old was signed for last summer's T20 Blast but suffered a broken finger when fielding in his first appearance in the competition against Durham Jets at New Road which cut short his spell with the County.

Rhodes admitted the absence of Santner, who has established himself as a key performer in all formats of the game for the Black Caps, was "a massive blow" to the Rapids hopes of reaching the quarter-finals.

But he is delighted to land the services of the Hamilton-born player for a second spell – subject to obtaining the normal visa clearances and a No Objection Certificate from New Zealand Cricket.

Rhodes said: "For T20 cricket, people with three disciplines are really exciting. We know spin is a major player for T20 cricket so to have a top spinner is fantastic.

"We know Mitch can hit the ball out of the ground, because he has done that, but also being a left hander is useful to the composition of our top six – and he is also a great fielder.

"There is some unfinished business with Mitch. Last summer he was very unlucky to pick up that finger injury that needed pinning in the first game he played.

"Losing Mitch was a massive blow to our hopes of qualifying. We'd had a good start and him playing all those games would have been an extra bonus for us.

"But Mitch really enjoyed his short time with us and he would have liked to have been given the opportunity – that was robbed from him because of the injury – to show what he can do and play alongside the other guys whose company he really enjoyed."

Rhodes, who has already signed Australian all-rounder John Hastings for the 2017 campaign, added: "To give Mitch that chance now, I think is a good selection (signing), because he is hungry to do well for the club and prove his worth to the club.

"He doesn't really have to do that. We know he is a good player, an international player, but I always like to have signings where people have got something to prove and I think he feels that way so that's why it is an exciting signing.

"It is an easy signing because he knows the dressing room, the dressing room knows him. He is a wonderful character and a breath of fresh air because he has got those three disciplines.

"We are really excited to have him for a really important competition as far as the club is concerned. We want the Rapids to try and qualify and go further in that competition."

Santner is also keen to make up for lost time with the Rapids.

He said: "I really enjoyed my time at Worcester with a great bunch of lads and it was so frustrating for me to pick up that injury in the very first T20 game.

"I was so looking forward to helping the Rapids build on their success at T20 cricket in recent years.

"It's fantastic that I've got the chance to come back again next summer and hopefully I can make up for lost time and make an impact with bat and ball.

"It's also a great place to play cricket and a great city and this time I hope to have more time to explore it."

Santner has played 11 Tests, 19 ODIs and 10 T20Is for New Zealand and was most recently in action in the Test and One-Day Series in India and the current Test Series against Pakistan.