Rapids secure big-hitting Guptill and Ferguson for Blast campaign - The Evesham Observer

Rapids secure big-hitting Guptill and Ferguson for Blast campaign

Evesham Editorial 28th Mar, 2018 Updated: 28th Mar, 2018   0

BIG-HITTING Kiwi Martin Guptill has been revealed as the latest overseas signing for Worcestershire’s Vitality Blast T20 campaign this summer.

Guptill is available for the Rapids first eight North Group matches before Australian Callum Ferguson takes over for the conclusion of the Blast campaign.

It adds up to a mouth-watering batting line-up for Rapids supporters with Guptill and then Ferguson joining Australian star Travis Head and fellow big hitters Ross Whiteley and Joe Clarke.

31-year-old Guptill will link up with the Rapids on June 20 through to July 29 and is also available to play in the Specsavers County Championship matches against Lancashire and Nottinghamshire when Head will be on international duty.

He has been a massive part of the Black Caps success in white ball cricket, playing in 159 ODIs – scoring 13 centuries at an average of 42.99 – and 75 T20Is where he has a strike rate of 132.88.

Guptill, who has also played in 47 Tests, hit the second highest ODI score of all time when making 237 not out against the West Indies in the 2015 World Cup quarter-final in Wellington.

He regularly plays in the Big Bash and the IPL and, after leaving Blackfinch New Road on July 29, will be participating in the Caribbean Premier League.

Pears head coach Kevin Sharp said: “Martin is a world class player. With Martin and Travis and the rest of our batting line-up, it will be quite a scary prospect for some opposition sides to think what might happen.

“It is exciting for us to sign someone of his quality and I’m sure he is someone all the Rapids supporters will look forward to watching.

“In white ball, he is a destructive batsman – and his record proves that – and for him to be available for the first eight T20 games is excellent.

“But he also has a good record in red ball cricket and will also be able to play the two Championship matches in June when Travis is on international duty.”

Ferguson will take over Blast duties from Guptill for the last six games of the Blast but is also available for the knockout stages of the Royal London One-Day Cup in mid June if Worcestershire progress through the North Group.

The 33-year-old has played 30 ODIs and three T20Is for Australia in addition to one Test and this winter has been playing Big Bash cricket for Sydney Thunder.

He has since been part of the South Australia side in the Sheffield Shield and in his last game hit 92 against West Australia in Adelaide.

“When Travis leaves for the ODI Series with England, there will still be one Royal London One-Day Cup group game plus a potential quarter-final and semi-final before Martin Guptill arrives.

“Callum could be available to play in those and he will then step into the Blast for the last six games when Martin leaves. Callum is very keen to get back playing representative cricket and get himself back to where he wants to be and it is another excellent signing for us.”

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