New Zealand international Devon Conway signed up by Somerset for T20 Blast

New Zealand international Devon Conway signed up by Somerset for T20 Blast 

New Zealand international Devon Conway signed up by Somerset for T20 Blast

English county side Somerset have signed New Zealand batsman Devon Conway as an overseas player for the second half of the T20 Blast's group stage. 

The left-hander appeared for the county side's second XI in 2010 as a relatively unknown South African when he was playing club cricket for Taunton Deane. He had another brief spell with the club in 2013. However, now he will return as a Kiwi International, having made the decision to leave South Africa in 2017 and start afresh. 

The number four ranked T20I batsman will be available for as many as nine T20 Blast games and Somerset's final two games in the county championships initial group stage, against Leicestershire and Surrey on July 4 and 11 respectively.

The 29-year-old has been named in New Zealand's Test squad for their tour to the UK in June, which features two matches against England and the inaugural World Test Championship final against India at the Ageas Bowl. There were concerns regarding his return to New Zealand under International travel restrictions but once his residency visa approval came through last month, it meant he will be able to travel home without any issue. 

"Somerset has a very good reputation and I'm excited to be joining the team for a key part of the season," Conway said. 

"England is one of the places where everyone wants to test their skills during the summer and hopefully, I can positively contribute to success in the Vitality Blast and the County Championship," he added. 

His signing comes after Hampshire drafted in his international team-mate Colin de Grandhomme. Kiwi players have been quite popular among the county sides ahead of this season's T20 competition, mainly due to the break in their international schedule after WTC final. 

For the past two seasons, Somerset had Babar Azam as one of their overseas players but due to the unavailability of the Pakistani skipper, they were forced to look elsewhere to re-inforce their top order. South African pacer Marchant de Lange is their other overseas player. 

"With so much international cricket being played at this time, and with England playing ODIs and T20Is against both Sri Lanka and Pakistan during the Vitality Blast this year, we have been working behind the scenes to identify and secure the right player for us," Somerset's director of cricket, Andy Hurry said. 

Andy was full of praise for how Conway's international career took off in last few months.

"I've followed Devon's career closely and have been really excited at seeing his International career explode in recent months," he concluded. 

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