T20 Blast 2022 – Moeen Ali plays headhunter as Dwayne Bravo agrees Worcestershire deal

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Colin Munro also signs as 2018 champions add firepower to T20 Blast squad

Moeen Ali transformed from allrounder into headhunter during the recent Bangladesh Premier League, using his time in the league to convince Dwayne Bravo to sign for Worcestershire for this summer’s T20 Blast.
Moeen and Bravo are Chennai Super Kings team-mates in the IPL and were both part of the BPL’s biosecure bubble last month, with Moeen’s side Comilla Victorians beating Bravo’s Fortune Barishal in the final. During the course of the tournament, Moeen, Worcestershire’s T20 captain, approached Bravo to see if he would be interested in spending six weeks in England immediately after the IPL.

Bravo, who retired from international cricket after last year’s T20 World Cup, has since signed a contract that will see him play at least 10 of Worcestershire’s group games, as well as the knockout stages if they qualify. The Blast runs from May 25, when Worcestershire play Yorkshire on the opening night, until Finals Day on July 16.

“When Moeen mentioned the possibility of me coming over for the Blast whilst we were both at the BPL, it was an opportunity I wanted to seriously look at,” Bravo said. “It’s great that it has all come together. The Vitality Blast is one of the domestic T20 titles that I am yet to win and I will be working hard to help the team achieve success.”

Bravo, 38, is heading towards the end of his career but has huge pedigree in the format as a death-bowling allrounder. He is the leading wicket-taker in T20 history with 571, more than 100 clear of Imran Tahir in second, and only his former West Indies team-mate Kieron Pollard has made more appearances. He has previously played county cricket for Kent, Essex, Middlesex and Surrey but is yet to win the Blast.
Worcestershire also announced the signing of Colin Munro on Wednesday, who will be their other overseas player in the Blast and effectively replaces Matthew Wade as a left-handed top-order option. Wade, who was due to spend the full season at New Road, pulled out of his deal after he was signed by Gujarat Titans for the IPL, and Worcestershire have already confirmed the signing of Azhar Ali to replace him in their County Championship side.
Munro previously spent two seasons with Worcestershire when they were losing quarter-finalists in 2014 and 2015, and is available for the entirety of the competition with his international career effectively over.

Worcestershire won the Blast for the first time in 2018 and were losing finalists the following season, but their performances have tailed off and they have failed to get out of the group in the last two years. They have lost Riki Wessels (released), Daryl Mitchell (retired) and Ross Whiteley (Hampshire) over the off-season but are confident they can challenge for the title again after adding Bravo, Munro and Ed Pollock (Warwickshire) to their squad.

Paul Pridgeon, the chair of their cricket steering group, said: “To put Dwayne Bravo and Colin Munro in the mix with the players we already have in the squad is excellent news. Moeen has been playing in the Bangladesh Premier League with Dwayne Bravo this winter, has been talking to him and said ‘come and play for us’ – and he agreed.

“Dwayne is available for us at least the final ten group games plus the quarter-finals and final, but that number will increase if Chennai don’t make the knockout stages… to have Colin for the entire tournament and Dwayne for a major proportion of it is great news.”

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98

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