Worcestershire: Kyle Abbott can boost T20 Blast hopes - Matt Mason
Worcestershire assistant coach Matt Mason says the arrival of South African fast bowler Kyle Abbott at the end of June can boost their T20 Blast hopes.
Abbott is expected to make his debut when the North Group quarter-final hopefuls play twice in two days away to Durham, then at home to Derbyshire.
With Kiwi Matt Henry extending his stay until the early part of July, it gives the county a second overseas player.
"We are all excited to get Kyle on board," said bowling coach Mason.
"It's always exciting when an overseas player, especially someone with the success he has had, arrives at the club. The fact that he has played before in England, in English conditions, bodes well."
Slight change of plan on the overseas front
This summer's original overseas player arrangement at New Road was that 24-year-old Henry would fill in from early April until the end of June, before Abbott arrived to take over in early July for the second half of the season.
Henry's New Zealand international Mitchell Santner was signed purely for the T20 Blast but, after one surprise County Championship appearance, he then fractured a finger on the opening weekend of the T20 Blast against Durham.
It has left Worcestershire a little light, at a time when they have won just once in four T20 matches following a three-game winning start.
But, with Henry staying a little longer and Abbott arriving a little sooner, it allows Worcestershire to get back up to their full complement of two overseas players.
Abbott's English cricket credentials
Abbott played for Hampshire when they gained promotion alongside Worcestershire from County Championship Division Two in 2014.
He will not arrive until after Friday's T20 Blast match with Lancashire at Old Trafford, after which Worcestershire do not play again until visiting Chester-le-Street in the same competition on 30 June.
But he should come in well rested, since finishing a busy post-Christmas stint with a spell in the Indian Premier League playing for Kings XI Punjab alongside South Africa team-mate Hashim Amla.
As well as making the two most recent of his seven Test appearances against England, he played in four one-day internationals, seven T20 matches and five IPL games.
In the past month, his only cricket has been South Africa's two 50-over defeats by the West Indies and Australia in the Caribbean.
Abbott ready to fire after 'little rest'
"He has had a little bit of a rest," said Mason. "But I imagine when he gets here he will be itching to get going and it won't take him too long to settle in.
"Hopefully, he brings in a fresh set of legs. And, with his recent stuff in the IPL and one-day cricket, he's got lots of experience to pass onto our guys.
"Mitch Santner, although it was a brief stay because of his injury, was very keen to help out 'Dolly' (Brett D'Oliveira) and our young spinners.
"Matt Henry has been terrific passing on his international experience, although he is only young himself and I'm sure Kyle will be the same.
"Our lads are very open to picking the brains of these experienced cricketers."