WORCESTERSHIRE have snapped up New Zealand international all-rounder Jacob Oram as their second overseas player for this year’s Friends Life t20 campaign.
The 34-year-old, who has represented the Black Caps in an international career spanning 11 years, will link up with Sri Lankan batsman Thilan Samaraweera to form a formidable overseas partnership for the Royals in the shortest format of the game.
Oram has represented Bangladesh Premier League finalists Chittagong Kings this winter and will also be part of the Mumbai Indians franchise for their 2013 IPL campaign, before linking up with the County.
New Road director of cricket Steve Rhodes said: “I have admired Jacob’s all-round qualities for some time now and his t20 experience, which he has gained from global competitions, is a major plus factor in our desire to have a successful Friends Life t20 campaign.
“He can bowl at the start, middle or end of the innings and can clear the ropes as a batsman, so our supporters will enjoy watching his exciting performances.”
The skilled all-rounder was released from his contract with New Zealand Cricket in 2012 to enable him to focus his attention on the shortened format of the game.
“The opportunity to play for Worcestershire in this season’s Friends Life t20 competition was something I could not turn down.” Oram added.
“While I have never played county cricket, it has always been a goal of mine, so I am very excited at the prospect of representing the club.
“Another attraction to Worcestershire was the chance to play at the picturesque New Road ground.
“I have played a few games there for New Zealand (2004 and 2008), as well as the New Zealand youth team (1996). It’s a beautiful ground and one that I will be privileged to call ‘home’ — at least for a month.”
With 99 t20 appearances to his name, Oram has plenty of experience and his highest t20 score of 66 not out came when New Zealand toured Australia in December 2007.
Across these games, Oram has also collected 77 wickets, including a match-winning 5-14 in January 2010 when Central Districts Stags progressed to win New Zealand's HRV t20 Cup.
Oram ended that series as the competition’s highest wicket-taker.
On international duty, the all-rounder’s statistics are equally impressive and a remarkable 3-33 against Sri Lanka saw him become the second player, of which there are only three, to claim a hat-trick in an international t20.
Fresh from IPL duty, Worcestershire’s newest recruit will join up with his New Road team-mates in time for the start of the County’s Friends Life t20 campaign, which gets under way on June 28.