Luke Ronchi, New Zealand wicket-keeper batsman, has joined Leicestershire Foxes and would be available for all the 14 group matches of the NatWest Twenty20 Blast 2017.

The Manawatu-born Ronchi said he always wanted to play county cricket and this time, it would be his first stint for Leicestershire.

“I love playing county cricket and can’t wait to get started with my new teammates,” Ronchi was quoted as saying by Leicestershire Mercury.

The 35-year-old Ronchi stated he would give his best for Leicestershire, adding he is excited to play alongside the talented players in the Foxes squad.

“It seems like an exciting time at the club with a few personnel changes and talented additions to the squad. I hope I can make a difference both on and off the field and contribute to a successful campaign,” Ronchi said.

Leicestershire coach Pierre de Bruyn said Ronchi would strengthen the batting line-up as he has a good amount of international experience.

“We’re delighted to sign Luke, who will offer power and dynamism to our batting line-up. He has played a lot of games around the world and his experience in the shortest format of the game will also help our youngsters,” De Bruyn said.

Ronchi’s inclusion came after Leicetershire recruit Sharjeel Khan was provisionally suspended following the spot-fixing scandal that surfaced during the recently concluded Pakistan Super League (PSL).

“We are determined to improve in white ball cricket in 2017 and Luke will help us to do that in NatWest T20 Blast. Luke has played for a very good New Zealand side over the last few years and we are excited about him joining us in July.” De Bruyn concluded.

In 114 T20s, Ronchi has scored 1,619 runs at a strike-rate of 141.89.

So far, Ronchi has played 78 One-Day Internationals, 32 Twenty20 Internationals and four Tests for the Black Caps.