Durham sign Kent's Ollie Robinson on loan for T20 Blast

Injuries and England call-ups prompt Durham's foray into loan market

Durham have signed Ollie Robinson, the Kent wicketkeeper-batter, on loan for the T20 Blast to help manage an availability crisis.

Robinson, 23, played four T20 games for Kent in their title-winning 2021 season and made 103 runs with a strike rate of 139.18 across his four innings but was deemed surplus to requirement for the start of their Blast season, following Sam Billings’ return from the IPL.

He is available for Durham in their first T20 fixture on Thursday, against Leicestershire at Grace Road but will return to Kent for their two Championship games during the Blast’s group stages and can be recalled at any time.

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Durham were without Sean Dickson (hamstring) and David Bedingham (back) during their Championship defeat against Middlesex at Lord’s last week and have lost three players to England’s squad for the first two Tests against New Zealand in Alex Lees, Ben Stokes and Matthew Potts.

“Following a few injuries and England selection affecting our squad, we are excited to have Ollie for our Vitality Blast campaign,” Marcus North, Durham’s director of cricket, said. “He is an exciting young talent who will offer us multiple skill options.”

“Ollie is a really talented young player and both he and Kent will benefit from ‘Robbo’ experiencing increased playing time during the Vitality Blast,” Paul Downton, Kent’s director of cricket, added. “We wish him well at Durham and look forward to welcoming him back into the squad for our next Championship fixture.”

Durham finished seventh out of nine in the North Group of the Blast in 2021. They have recruited Ashton Turner, who has been warming up by playing for their second XI, as captain for 2022.

Elsewhere, Northamptonshire will use Matthew Kelly – the Australian seam-bowling allrounder who initially signed for the early stages of the County Championship season – as cover for Jimmy Neesham in their opening Blast fixtures due to Neesham’s IPL commitments, while Leicestershire have confirmed that Hamish Rutherford will replace Rahmanullah Gurbaz, as revealed by ESPNcricinfo.