June 7, 2023

Michael Bracewell has signed a contract with Worcestershire for the Vitality Blast, effectively replacing Moeen Ali in their T20 side.

Moeen has joined Warwickshire on a three-year contract and his departure left a hole in Worcestershire’s top order for a left-handed batter and offspinner.

Bracewell, the late-blooming allrounder who has made his New Zealand debuts in all three formats this year, has signed a contract that will see him play county cricket for the first time in the 2023 Blast.

Worcestershire did not specify his availability but he is expected to be available for the majority of the tournament. He is likely to spend April and May in the subcontinent – either in Pakistan for a white-ball tour, or in India if he is picked in Friday’s IPL auction – with Worcestershire’s first Blast fixture on May 24.

Alan Richardson, Worcestershire’s head coach, said: “It’s always good to have someone of his calibre, but the fact he is a true allrounder means we are really getting two players.

“Michael’s international white-ball cricket record is outstanding, but he also has a very healthy first-class record and will offer great experience.”

Bracewell will extend a recent relationship between Worcestershire and New Zealand players, with Colin Munro, Hamish Rutherford, Martin Guptill, Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner among the Kiwis to have spent time at New Road in recent seasons.

Worcestershire will hope he can play a part in reviving their T20 fortunes. They were champions in 2018 and losing finalists the following season but struggled badly in 2022, finishing rock-bottom with two wins in 14 group games.

“I’m really looking forward to my first experience of the Blast, a competition in which Worcestershire [have] had a lot of success in recent times,” Bracewell said. “I’ve heard a lot of good things about Worcestershire from a lot of New Zealand players who have recently played there, and I’m really excited to have the opportunity to join up with the group next summer.”

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