Ajaz Patel joins Durham as replacement for Matt Kuhnemann

Ajaz Patel joins Durham as replacement for Matt Kuhnemann

Ajaz Patel, the New Zealand left-arm spinner, has joined Durham as a replacement for Australia’s Matt Kuhnemann, who suffered a back injury while playing against Glamorgan in April and has had to pull out of his deal.

Patel, 34, will link up with the Durham squad ahead of next week’s Championship fixture against Yorkshire and will be available for a maximum of seven first-class games. He will take over the specialist spinner’s role from Lancashire’s Matt Parkinson, who was loaned to the club last month on a two-week deal and featured in their innings victory over Derbyshire at Chester-le-Street.

A proven international spinner with New Zealand, Patel has 48 Test wickets to his name, including a memorable haul of 10 for 119 against India in 2021, when he became the third bowler in Test history – after Jim Laker and Anil Kumble – to claim all ten wickets in an innings.

On his Test debut in 2018 he was named Player of the Match after picking up five second-innings wickets in a thrilling four-run win over Pakistan. His first-class record for Central Districts in New Zealand comprises 314 wickets from 88 games, with 22 five-fors and four 10-wicket hauls.

Durham will be the third county for whom he has played, after a stint with Yorkshire in 2019 and a further outing for Glamorgan last summer, where he picked up 14 wickets in four appearances.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed county cricket every time I have had the opportunity to play and I am really excited and grateful to be joining Durham,” Patel said. “I have heard a lot of great things about the club, can’t wait to get over there and get stuck in!”

Director of Cricket, Marcus North added: “We are excited to have secured the signing of another international spinner in Ajaz Patel. Ajaz is proven in international cricket with New Zealand and has performed successfully around the world.

“With the loss of Matt Kuhnemann, it was important that we brought in a spinner that will continue to strengthen and balance our red ball side, and with the addition of Ajaz this should enable us to continue to be effective in all conditions.”

(With Inputs from ESPN)

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