BLACKCAPS celebrating a wicket during the 2016/17 summer. Image: Photosport

BLACKCAPS heading north

The ICC Champions Trophy 2017 isn’t far away, with the tournament running from the 1st to the 18th of June.

To prepare for the global tournament, the BLACKCAPS have a Tri-Nation Series against Ireland and Bangladesh, which will help the team get used to conditions in the Northern Hemisphere.

However, several players are already getting accustomed as they have been playing County Cricket, while a few more will be sticking around after the ICC Champions Trophy to play in the English Twenty20 competition, the Natwest T20 Blast.

Here’s which New Zealanders are heading to the UK and what teams they are playing for:

Before he links up with the BLACKCAPS setup in Ireland, Jeetan Patel is back with Warwickshire for his ninth season with the West Midland Club.

James Franklin, who represented New Zealand 179 times, will be looking to defend the County Championship for Middlesex, after the side won last season’s title in incredible circumstances.

Central Stags all-rounder Kieran Noema-Barnett will represent Gloucestershire for another season of county cricket.

New Zealand’s highest ranked Test bowler, Neil Wagner, is playing half a county season for Essex, while fellow BLACKCAP Tom Latham has signed with Durham and will play for the Northern County around potential international commitments.

The Natwest T20 Blast gets underway from the 20th of April, with a number of Kiwi’s heading north for the English Twenty20 competition.

Colin de Grandhomme has signed on to play the T20 competition for Jeetan Patel’s Bermingham Bears, who are Warwickshire’s T20 side.

Ross Taylor joins Auckland Aces McDonald's Super Smash star Tymal Mills at the Sussex Sharks, while BLACKCAPS spinners Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi have been contracted to the Worcestershire Rapids and the Nottinghamshire Steelbacks respectively.

Australian quick Clint McKay will have BLACKCAPS wicket-keeper Luke Ronchi as a teammate after Ronchi signed for the Leicestershire Foxes for the entirety of the T20 Blast.

Tim Southee and Brendon McCullum will play for Middlesex, linking up with former BLACKCAPS teammate Daniel Vettori, who is coaching the South-Eastern club solely for the T20 competition.

After he completes his stint in the IPL with the Kings XI Punjab, Matt Henry will head to the East-Midlands, joining Imran Tahir at the Derbyshire Falcons.

*All photos supplied by Photosport

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