DURHAM have signed Kent wicketkeeper-batsman Ollie Robinson on loan for the Vitality Blast, which begins later this week.

The 23-year-old will be available for the whole of the Blast, and is available to feature in Thursday night’s opening game away to Leicestershire Foxes.

Robinson has made 18 Blast appearances for Kent, and was part of the Spitfires side that won the competition in 2021.

He is a regular for Kent in the County Championship, with almost 2,000 first-class runs, including a highest score of 143 against Warwickshire, as well as 128 catches and two stumpings.

Durham director of cricket, Marcus North, said: “Following a few injuries and England selection affecting our squad, we are excited to have Ollie for our Vitality Blast campaign.

“He is an exciting young talent who will offer us multiple skill options. We look forward to welcoming him to Durham.”

Robinson has only signed for Durham’s T20 matches, and will therefore return to Kent for the LV= Insurance County Championship matches that are scheduled to split the Blast schedule. Kent have also inserted a clause into the loan agreement that enables them to recall their player if their squad is depleted by injuries or England call-ups.

Durham’s new signing is not to be confused with Sussex’s Ollie Robinson, who has been named along with Dom Sibley in a County Select XI that will take on New Zealand ahead of next month’s Test series.

The duo, who have 31 international caps between them, will be hoping to make an impression against the tourists after missing out on selection for the first Test on June 2.

For Sussex seamer Robinson it will be a second successive outing against the Black Caps after he featured in the rain-ruined draw at Hove, taking nought for 42 in 18 overs.

The 28-year-old has been followed around by fitness concerns for several months, suffering with back problems in the Ashes and missing all three Tests in the West Indies. His start to the season has also been sporadic with dental issues and a stomach upset adding to his travails.

Now he has the chance to prove he is ready to reclaim his place for subsequent Tests at Trent Bridge and Headingley, with Sibley offered a similar opportunity.

The Warwickshire opener was axed at the end of last summer after a lean spell at the head of the innings, but has remodelled his technique and remains a viable alternative to incumbents Alex Lees and Zak Crawley.

Sibley pulled out of an England Lions trip to Australia last year but his appearance in this 12-man squad suggests he is once again prepared to push his cause.