NEW Zealand all-rounder Mitchell Santner is returning to Worcestershire as their second overseas signing for the 2023 Vitality Blast.
Santner has followed fellow Black Cap Michael Bracewell in signing for the Rapids for this summer’s T20 competition.
He has made more than 160 appearances for New Zealand across all three formats and featured at the 2016 and 2021 ICC T20 World Cups and the 2019 ICC World Cup.
The left-arm spinner and hard-hitting batter was part of the Rapids squad at New Road for the 2016 and 2017 Blast campaigns.
Santner had to cut short his first spell because of a broken finger suffered in the opening game of the 2016 season against Durham.
But he finished as the leading wicket-taker with 13 wickets and was also the most economical Rapids bowler at 6.64 runs per over in 2017, in addition to weighing in with 238 runs at a strike rate of 120.
Santner has also played Indian Premier League cricket for Chennai Super Kings and Barbados Tridents in the Caribbean Premier League.
He said: “It’s great to be coming back to Worcestershire for a third season and to link up with some old friends and faces in the dressing room, as well as some new ones.
“I kept a keen interest in how the Rapids did after I left, and it was awesome for the club to win the Blast in 2018 and come so close again the year after.
“They had reached a few quarter-finals before that, and to make that breakthrough was brilliant. Hopefully, I can help them get those successful times back.
“A few New Zealanders have played for Worcestershire since I left, like Martin Guptill and Ish Sodhi, and it will be great to have Michael Bracewell as a team-mate, someone who has already made his mark in international cricket and will be an asset next summer.”
Worcestershire Cricket Steering Group chair, Paul Pridgeon, said: “Mitchell has shown his ability at international level and knows the club, and some of the players, from his previous spell. He ticks a lot of boxes.
“He gives us another option in the spin department, a facet of the game which has proved, so key in T20 cricket, and can also strike a powerful ball with the bat.
“Mitchell said how keen he was to return to New Road for another spell, and it did not take long to get everything sorted.
“We believe signing him and Michael Bracewell will make us a stronger T20 side and back up our determination to dramatically improve on last season’s performances in the T20.”