Ajaz Patel joins Durham as a replacement for Matt Kuhnemann

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By Webdesk

New Zealand left arm spinner Ajaz Patel has come to Durham to replace Australian Matt Kuhnemann, who suffered a back injury during his match against Glamorgan in April and had to cancel his deal.

Patel, 34, joins Durham’s side ahead of next week’s Championship game against Yorkshire and will be available for up to seven first-class matches. He will take over as specialist spinner from Lancashire’s Matt Parkinson, who was loaned to the club on a two-week contract last month and played in their 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 10-for-119 haul against India in 2021 when he became the third bowler in Test history – after Jim Laker and Anil Kumble – taking all ten wickets in an innings.

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

Durham becomes the third county he has played for, following a spell with Yorkshire in 2019 and a further appearance for Glamorgan last summer, where he took 14 wickets in four appearances.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed county cricket every time I’ve had the chance to play and I’m very excited and grateful to be joining Durham,” said Patel. “I’ve heard a lot of good things about the club, can’t wait to go there and get stuck!”

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

“With the loss of Matt Kuhnemann it was important that we bring in a spinner who will continue to strengthen and balance our red ball side, and with the addition of Ajax this should allow us to remain effective in all circumstances.”

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