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Page last updated at 10:01 GMT, Tuesday, 20 April 2010 11:01 UK

Durham sign Ross Taylor and Albie Morkel for Twenty20

Ross Taylor and Albie Morkel
Taylor (left) and Morkel have impressive reputations in Twenty20

Durham have added the signing of New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor to that of South Africa all-rounder Albie Morkel for the 2010 Twenty20 campaign.

Taylor and Morkel will link up with Geoff Cook's side for the Twenty20 opener with Lancashire on 4 June.

"I'm really pleased to be part of Durham's campaign, after their recent Championship success," Taylor said.

"I want to be a major contributor in the team that replicates that in Twenty20 competition."

Taylor hit New Zealand's fastest ever Test century from just 81 deliveries in the recent series with Australia.

The 26-year-old Wellington-born right-hander also impressed in the Twenty20 game with Indian Premier League side Royal Challengers Bangalore.

He has previously experienced English conditions having turned out for Norwich and Coltishall Wanderers in Norfolk, he twice represented the MCC and also played four ICC World Twenty20 warm-up games last summer.

Durham had revealed to BBC Newcastle during the MCC game in Abu Dhabi in March that all-rounder Albie Morkel would be returning to the Riverside for a second spell with the county for the short-form competition.

And the powerful 28-year-old is delighted to be back with the county who he helped reach the Twenty20 finals day back in 2008.

To be able to bring two players of this standard into the team adds more depth into our already talented squad

Durham chief executive David Harker

"I was eager to take up the opportunity to go back to Riverside after my first stint there in 2008," Morkel admitted.

"It's a great club to be a part of, there is a lot of ambition and team spirit in the dressing room and I'm looking forward to joining back up with the team."

Initially Durham coach Geoff Cook had revealed there would be no imports for the Twenty20 competition, but chief executive David Harker believes the additions have added quality to the existing line-up.

"Ross has been at the top of our wish list for some time and to finally have him joining us is fantastic," Harker said.

"We're always keen to ensure that we try and sign the right sort of player taking into account their proven quality, availability and whether they will fit into the team culture here at the Riverside.

"Albie is a proven performer, especially in this format, and we're pleased to be welcoming him back to the North East.

"To be able to bring two players of this standard into the team adds more depth into our already talented squad."

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