Luke Ronchi has heard all about the “amazing” experience of playing for Birmingham Bears at Edgbaston on NatWestT20 Finals Day.
And the New Zealand star has his sights set on sampling that feeling for himself after signing to play for the Bears in all their NatWest T20 Blast matches this season.
Birmingham have recruited Ronchi, a linchpin of the Black Caps’ remarkable rise in T20 cricket in recent years, to provide the sort of explosive batting firepower which so often turn games in that format.
The 35-year-old, a Wellington team-mate of Bears favourite Jeetan Patel in New Zealand domestic cricket, is really excited by the challenge ahead.
He can’t wait for the NatWest T20 Blast season to start when the Bears face Notts Outlaws at Trent Bridge on May 20 – with a view to booking a big date at Edgbaston exactly three months later.
“I have heard from Jeets all about T20 Finals Day at Edgbaston and what it is like to be playing for the Birmingham Bears with a full house cheering you on,” said Ronchi. “It’s sounds awesome and hopefully I’ll be part of that experience on August 20.”
“The prospect of playing all through the T20 for the Bears really excites me. I’m looking forward to getting over there and meeting the guys, being part of the dressing room and contributing on and off the field.
“Jeets has had loads of good things to say about the Bears. He never stops talking about it over here.”
Ronchi, who has played 70 ODIs, with a highest score of 170 not out, for the Black Caps, as well as 29 T20Is, is no stranger to English conditions. He has played club cricket over here and played for Somerset in the NatWest T20 Blast last year when he also made his Test debut, against England at Headingley, announcing himself with an innings of 88 in a 199-run win for his country.
“I have played a lot of cricket in England, including last year for Somerset in the NatWest T20 Blast and the atmosphere is always fantastic,” he said. “One of the things I love about cricket in England is the passion for the game, at every ground you go to. I can’t wait to get over there and join up with the Bears.”
Ronchi will make his Edgbaston debut in the Bears’ second game of the NatWest T20 Blast against Worcestershire Rapids on Friday 27 May. Tickets are priced at £19 in advance for adults on £23 on match day, with under 16s completely FREE. Please click here to purchase or call the Ticket Hotline on 0844 847 1902.