In Ajaz Patel, the New Zealand Test spinner, Yorkshire have recruited a man in form ahead of the final two rounds of County Championship action.

Patel, 30-years-old, arrives at Emerald Headingley to replace fellow left-armer Keshav Maharaj on the back of a productive few months both in England and abroad.

Most importantly, he has just claimed nine wickets in two Test Matches for the Kiwis in Sri Lanka last month, a series which finished in a one-one draw.

He took a five-for in the first innings of the opening Test at Galle, which Sri Lanka went on to win. Kane Williamson’s side then hit back in Colombo.

Elsewhere, Patel has spent the majority of the English summer playing club cricket in the Surrey Championship, where he is the leading wicket-taker in the competition to date.

He has been the overseas pro for the Cranleigh club and has taken 56 wickets, including seven five-wicket hauls and a best of 7-26. Cranleigh are top of the first division, which is the second tier of that competition.

Patel, like Maharaj, has Indian heritage. In fact, he was born in Mumbai before emigrating to New Zealand in 1996, when he was eight-years-old.

He is the fifth Indian-origin cricketer to play for the BlackCaps, with another being close friend and opening batsman Jeet Raval, who represented Yorkshire on a similar short-term overseas deal last year. The pair went to school together.

A fast bowler until he was in his twenties, he admitted, “Being 5 foot 6 wasn’t quite going to cut it at the next level”, so he turned to spin and was successful enough to make his first-class debut for Central Districts in 2012.

A spinner with an uncomplicated action, Patel has taken 223 wickets in 55 first-class games with a best of 6-48. He has taken five or more wickets in an innings on 18 occasions, including twice in seven Tests.

He debuted in T20 and Test cricket against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi last October and November respectively, taking 5-59 in the second innings of the Test as they went on to win the series 2-1.

He became only the ninth New Zealander to take five wickets on Test debut, with current team-mates Tim Southee and Colin de Grandhomme others amongst the list.

In April of last year, he was named the men’s domestic player of the year at the New Zealand Cricket Awards. He finished the 2017/2018 Plunket Shield season as the leading wicket-taker, with 48 dismissals in nine four-day matches.

With the bat, he has a top-score of 45 in first-class cricket.

This will be Patel’s first taste of playing county cricket.

An image of Lauren Winfield-Hill and Adil Rashid, with the Yorkshire logo and Northern Diamonds logo in the middle

Sign up to our newsletter

For all the latest news, previews, ticket, membership and Premium Experiences information and more exciting content from Yorkshire Cricket and the Northern Diamonds straight to your inbox, subscribe now.

To view our privacy policy, click here.