NEW ZEALAND paceman Matt Henry has joined Worcestershire as their overseas player for the first half of the 2016 campaign.
Henry, who was 24 last month, will link up with the Pears from early April until the end of June subject to receiving a No Objection Certificate from New Zealand Cricket.
He has taken 13 wickets in three innings for his country in the 3-1 win over Sri Lanka in the ODI Series which came to an end this week.
Henry will occupy the main overseas player slot until South African paceman Kyle Abbott takes over the role during the second half of the season from early July to late September.
The right armer has played for the Black Caps in all formats of the game and was part of the team which reached the 2015 World Cup final after displaying a thrilling brand of cricket throughout the tournament.
Henry, who represents his native Canterbury in first class cricket, was New Zealand’s most economical bowler in the magnificent semi-final win over South Africa in Auckland and then claimed two of the three Australian wickets to fall in the final in Melbourne.
He then impressed Rhodes when helping New Zealand to an exciting 15 run win over Worcestershire at New Road in May last year, returning 2-71 in the first innings and 3-58 in the second.
The 2015-2016 ODI Series against Sri Lanka brought him figures of 4-49 and 4-33 – both in Christchurch – and 5-40 in Mount Maunganui on Tuesday.
Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes believes Henry will be a “huge asset” to the club.
“Matt Henry is a fine young bowler who has represented New Zealand in all formats. ”
“He also was trusted with both a World Cup Semi Final and a Final spot and his bowling early season will be huge asset to the Club.”
“I am delighted he will lead our attack and join our current crop of terrific young seam bowlers.”
Henry is relishing the chance to play county cricket for the first time.
“Worcestershire have had strong links with New Zealand cricket going back to when Glenn Turner played for them for many seasons and more recently with Colin Munro and Mitchell McClenaghan and I am looking forward to playing for them,” he said.
“They showed their quality in the tour game when pushing New Zealand all the way last summer and clearly have an exciting crop of young players who came so close to staying in Division One of the County Championship. ”
“I hope I can play my part in getting them off to a good start in trying to regain that Division One spot – as well as having another successful run in the NatWest T20 Blast – and experiencing county cricket will be good for my all-round development as a player.”
Henry made his Test debut against England at Lord’s after his impressive performance at New Road and also featured in the recent series against Australia.
He has also made 20 ODI and three T20I appearances for his country.
To date Henry has taken 100 first class wickets in 26 matches during his career with five five-wicket hauls.