Mountaineers sign Worcestershire skipper

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Worcestershire captain Darryl Mitchell and former Essex skipper Mark Pettini have signed for Mountaineers for the second half of the domestic cricket season which resumes in January.

The new signings come into the Mountaineers’ setup as replacements for compatriots Phil Mustard and Ned Eckersley and will feature in the Logan Cup and Coca-Cola Pro50 competitions.

Mustard and Eckersley who joined the Mutare-based franchise in November ahead of the Stanbic Twenty20 competition played their last match for Mountaineers in Saturday’s Pro50 win over Matabeleland Tuskers at Queens Sports Club.

Pettini, a former England Under-19 player, who has played in 100 first-class caps, is a talented stroke player in the middle order while Mitchell will give coach Gary Brent more options in his team’s top order which has looked vulnerable in recent matches.

“We have secured the services of Darryl Mitchell and Mark Pettini for the second half of the season when it commences in January.

They come in as replacements for Mustard and Eckersley, who left the country over the weekend after the expiry of their contracts,” the Mountaineers chief executive Jonathan Brent said in an interview with NewsDay Sport yesterday:
“Mitchell, who is the captain at Worcestershire and Pettini are both very seasoned campaigners with a lot of first-class experience and hopefully we will be able to get the best out of them.

It’s also going to be a massive boost for our young players as they stand to learn a lot from there two guys,” said Brent.

The 28-year-old Mitchell, who has 77 first-class caps, is hoping to get some game time during the winter in England ahead of the resumption of the English County Championship in April.

The experienced opening batsman made his debut for Worcestershire in 2005 before taking over the captaincy last season.

Mitchell confirmed his imminent departure for Zimbabwe on the social networking site
Twitter.

“Flights booked for Zimbabwe, off to play a bit of first-class stuff in the New Year. It should be a great cricketing experience; really looking forward to it.”