Bell back at Firebirds’ helm

Batsman Matthew Bell will captain the State Wellington Firebirds in the State Shield and State Championship competitions.

Bell previously captained the side from 2000/01 to 2005/06 and replaces Michael Parlane, who has rejoined State Northern Knights.

"It is an honour to again be the Firebirds captain and I look forward to working with the players and team management," said the former BLACKCAPS opener.

"We have a very good all-round team with plenty of talent and I’m convinced we can make a big impact in the three competitions this summer."

Bell scored 731 State Championship runs last season, including a career best 265 against State Central Stags and a Test century against Bangladesh.

Former BLACKCAPS skipper Stephen Fleming will lead the Firebirds in their State Twenty20 campaign.

Coach Anthony Stuart said: "Awarding Stephen the captaincy was a straight-forward decision given his Twenty20 experience and proven leadership expertise. His tactical experience will be a huge asset to our Twenty20 team."

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