Luke Ronchi: Birmingham Bears sign New Zealand wicketkeeper for T20 Blast

Luke Ronchi
Luke Ronchi made 88 on his Test debut for New Zealand in 2015 against England at Headingley

New Zealand international wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi has signed for Birmingham Bears as their overseas player for this season's T20 Blast.

Ronchi, 34, is due to appear in all 14 group games, in contrast to fellow Kiwi Brendon McCullum, who played in half of the Bears' T20 matches in 2015.

"Having a player of his quality for all 14 group games is a huge boost," said director of cricket Dougie Brown.

"He is widely recognised as one of the game's finest wicketkeeper-batsmen."

Ronchi, from Manawatu, began his international career with Australia in 2008, making seven limited-over appearances.

He has since gone on to represent New Zealand in 66 one-day internationals and 29 T20 matches, the most recent being March's World Twenty20 semi-final defeat by England.

Ronchi will join the Bears ahead of their first group game at Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge on Friday, 20 May, with his home debut scheduled to come a week later against local rivals Worcestershire.

"Birmingham Bears have been one of the top teams in T20 over the last two years," said Ronchi. "I'm very excited to join such a great club that boasts several internationals. I'm looking forward to making Edgbaston my home."

Ronchi's record

Ronchi plays domestic cricket in New Zealand for Wellington Firebirds alongside the Bears' long-standing overseas player, fellow Kiwi Jeetan Patel.

He has also played for Perth Scorchers in Australia's Big Bash and for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League.

In joining the Warwickshire staff at Edgbaston, he will be with his second English county, having played five T20 games and made four County Championship appearances for Somerset in 2015.