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Page last updated at 22:04 GMT, Monday, 31 August 2009 23:04 UK

Shah to play Twenty20 event in NZ

Owais Shah
Shah received a glowing reference from former NZ captain Fleming

England batsman Owais Shah has agreed to play for the Wellington Firebirds in New Zealand's domestic Twenty20 cricket competition in December.

In 17 Twenty20 internationals for England, the 30-year-old Middlesex batsman has scored 347 runs at an average of 24.78.

Ex-New Zealand and Wellington captain Stephen Fleming, who played with Shah at Middlesex, recommended the batsman.

Fleming said: "He's one of the world's better international Twenty20 batsmen."

Pakistan-born Shah is part of England's squad for the Twenty20 and one-day international series against Australia as well as the ICC Champions Trophy in South Africa in September and October.

He certainly has the ability to make a huge impact on Wellington's Twenty20 season

Former New Zealand and Wellington captain Stephen Fleming

"A key goal for the Firebirds the summer is to win the domestic T20 competition," said Wellington head coach Anthony Stuart.

"There is now the added carrot of a spot in the lucrative Champions League tournament in India."

Shah is the second top international player to join a New Zealand side for the 2009/10 domestic Twenty20 series after Sri Lanka's Tillakaratne Dilshan signed a short-term deal with Northern Districts.

Last season, England one-day all-rounder Dimitri Mascarenhas helped Otago to the domestic Twenty20 title which qualified them for the forthcoming Champions League.

Earlier this year Shah, who has twice toured New Zealand with England in 2002 and 2008, was signed by Delhi for the second series of the Indian Premier League, but did not play in any games.

"Owais is a player who has an excellent grasp of the batting strategy required," added Fleming. "He certainly has the ability to make a huge impact on Wellington's Twenty20 season."

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see also
Flintoff named in England squads
17 Aug 09 |  England
Mascarenhas to join Otago Volts
05 Aug 08 |  Hampshire
ICC Champions Trophy 2009 squads
25 Aug 09 |  Cricket

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