Fleming confirms Twenty20 role
Stephen Fleming has confirmed he will play for Wellington in the State Twenty20 competition this season.
The former New Zealand skipper and Cricket Wellington Board member will play for the Firebirds between stints for his Indian Premier League side, Chennai Super Kings.
The 35-year-old batsman, who retired from international cricket earlier this year, turned down one of Wellington's 12 full-time contracts because of his IPL commitments and to spend more time with his family and concentrate on a new business venture.
Fleming will play in the Champions League with the Chennai Super Kings in December and will also be involved in a beach cricket series in Australia in January before captaining the Wellington Twenty20 side the following month.
Former New Zealand team-mate Matthew Bell will skipper the State Championship and State Shield sides, taking over from Michael Parlane who has returned to Northern Districts.
"I am thrilled at the prospect of being part of a successful Firebirds team in the upcoming domestic Twenty20 competition," Fleming said.
"I firmly believe that we have what it takes to win this competition. With the winner of this competition potentially qualifying for the lucrative Champions League Twenty20 competition in late 2009, it's an added incentive."
The State Twenty20 competition will be extended from six rounds and a final to eight rounds and a final for the upcoming season and will be contested during a dedicated four-week window in February.