Following our guide to the New Zealanders in Division 2 of County cricket, here are our players who’ll feature in Division 1 this season.
James Franklin’s long career continues with another season at Lord’s where he will captain their one day campaign in 2016. James’ career is so long that he is one of just three players who featured in the last season of Cricket Max in 2001-02 (where James was Man-of-the-Series) to still be playing First-Class cricket. Can you name the other two?
Following the IPL, Mitchell will join Middlesex for the majority of the summer and should feature for them in all formats. With a playing resume that includes previous T20 stints with Lancashire, Middlesex, and Worcestershire (where he also played one day and First-Class matches), McClenaghan has plenty of experience in English conditions.
As one of T20 cricket’s biggest names, Brendon McCullum doesn’t really need an introduction here. Having previously featured for Glamorgan, Sussex, and Warwickshire in England’s T20 competition, he’s unlikely to wait around for an introduction to opposition bowlers either. As an added bonus for Middlesex, Brendon’s also available for four one day matches.
At just 26, James Fuller is one of the younger journeymen on the world cricket circuit. Born in South Africa, the New Zealand Under 19 representative has spent the last five seasons playing for Gloucestershire on a British passport. 2016 sees him switch to Middlesex on the first year of a three year deal.
If you need proof that Jeetan Patel likes playing County cricket you only need to look at 2015’s Wisden Cricketers of the Year, where the Wellington and Warwickshire stalwart became the first New Zealander in 15 years to claim one of the prestigious awards. His record in England is exceptional with 243 wickets for Warwickshire in 68 matches. In contrast, his 263 Wellington scalps have come in 113 matches.
Warwickshire (or the Birmingham Bears as they’re known for the T20 Blast) have swapped one hard-hitting New Zealand batsman for another, with Luke Ronchi taking Brendon McCullum’s spot in their T20 Blast side. Luke was in action in the UK last year where he featured for Somerset in T20 and one day matches but, before that, you have to go back to 2002 for previous experience in the northern summer. Back then he played a solitary one day game for Hampshire and completed his final season of three with Bashley (Rydal) in the Southern League.
Yorkshire’s tourism advertising talks of Roman and Viking heritage, medieval buildings, and national parks. In 2016 they celebrate the bicentennary of Charlotte Bronte’s birth and the Yorkshire Festival in June & July promises to be hugely popular. Of course, the only thing you really need to know about Yorkshire in 2016 is they have Joe Root and Kane Williamson in their County cricket side.
Root. Williamson. One team. Who would want to be a bowler.
In 2008, Neil played for Ormskirk in the Liverpool League, hitting four 50s (with a highest score of 90*) and claiming 50 wickets. He’s on the record as saying that stint in the minors gave him an admiration for Lancashire and, after a five match turn with Northants in 2014, he’s finally arrived at the red rose.
Guptill’s the latest addition to the BLACKCAPS’ ranks in England this season, signing on in late-April for Lancashire’s T20 Blast campaign. In previous years we’ve seen Guptill wearing Derbyshire colours, where he averaged 34. This year they’ve filled their international spots with Otago Volts, which works to the benefit of the T20 Blast’s defending champions.
Technically, New Zealand’s Ben Stokes is really England’s Ben Stokes but that’s no reason not to follow the fortunes of the Christchurch-born all-rounder. Ben’s a stalwart at Durham having debuted for them in 2009 and, with eight First-Class centuries and over 3000 runs in a Durham cap, he obviously enjoys playing in the North East. Durham have another familiar face in Scott Borthwick, who proved to be a successful import for Wellington in 2015-16.
*The answer to the James Franklin Cricket Max question?
Rob Nicol & Peter Fulton are the only other players left in First-Class cricket from the 2001-02 Cricket Max season. Note: Brendon McCullum also played.