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Bears bring in Blackwell

All-rounder to provide cover for absent Patel

Ian Blackwell: Will join Warwickshire for the remainder of the season

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Warwickshire have bolstered their batting and bowling options with the signing of Durham all-rounder Ian Blackwell until the end of the season.

Blackwell has fallen out of favour with his current employers and has not played in the County Championship since May.

The 34-year-old will join up with the Bears at Wormsley for Sunday's Clydesdale Bank 40 fixture against the Unicorns, and will remain with the team until the end of the season.

Left-arm slow bowler Blackwell, who recorded figures of 7-52 against Australia A in his last first-class fixture, will fill the void left by off-spinner Jeetan Patel, who has been called up by New Zealand.

"It's been frustrating not being selected at Durham and I'm keen to get out there and prove, not only my fitness, but also that I can still make match winning contributions."

Ian Blackwell

Quotes of the week

Warwickshire director of cricket Ashley Giles said: "Ian is a very experienced cricketer, with almost 400 first-class wickets and international honours.

"With Jeetan Patel away for the next four weeks after winning a call-up to New Zealand's tour of India, Ian will play an important role as the senior spinner in the team.

Challenge

"He joins us after taking seven wickets against Australia A two weeks ago, and with key matches coming up in the LV County Championship and CB40, we're very pleased to secure his services. I would like to thank Geoff Cook and Durham for allowing us to bring Ian to Warwickshire on loan."

Blackwell has played 34 one-day internationals and a solitary Test match for England and has been a consistent performer on the county circuit.

Speaking on the opportunity to join Warwickshire, who are challenging for the Division One title, he said: "I'm pleased to have the opportunity to go on loan to Warwickshire and play some first-team cricket.

"It's been frustrating not being selected at Durham and I'm keen to get out there and prove, not only my fitness, but also that I can still make match-winning contributions. I want to be back playing for Durham and this is a means of achieving that."

Durham head coach Geoff Cook added: "This is a great opportunity for Ian to play first-class cricket and get some time in the middle against strong opposition.

"Our current first eleven have built some real momentum in four-day cricket and as a result opportunities for Ian to break back into the squad, due to the conditions and surfaces that we have been faced with, have been limited.

"We took him to Notts in order to try and give him a game if the conditions were right however as that wasn't the case it is important for him to get some cricket under his belt and going on loan to Warwickshire allows him to do that."