LANCASHIRE CCC have announced the signing of New Zealand star opening batsman Martin Guptill for this year’s T20 Blast.
Guptill is expected to feature in Lancashire’s first six games as Ashley Giles’s side aim to become the first side to win the tournament in consecutive years – after the Lightning defeated Northampton Steelbacks by 13 runs in last year’s final at Edgbaston.
The 29-year-old is regarded as one of the most explosive and destructive in the game currently and holds the record for the highest score in a World Cup game having scored 237 not out, the first double century in One Day Internationals by a New Zealander, against West Indies.
— Lancashire Cricket (@lancscricket) April 22, 2016
The right-hander has featured for Derbyshire in recent seasons and has played 61 T20 Internationals for the Black Caps and has an impressive strike rate of 131.44.
Cricket Director and Head Coach, Ashley Giles, said: “Martin is a formidable batsman, particularly in white ball cricket, and is currently ranked as the world’s third best batsman in T20 cricket.
“He’s currently playing IPL cricket alongside Jos Buttler and will be ready to hit the ground running when he arrives at Emirates Old Trafford.
“He’s got the ability to take games away from the opposition very quickly once he gets going and I’m sure our fans will really enjoy watching him play.”
Guptill added: “I am delighted to be heading back to England for another stint of county cricket, particularly for a club with such a rich history as Lancashire.
“I hope I can make a real impact and help with their pursuit for another trophy in white ball cricket.”
The news appears to have gone down well with Lancashire fans on Twitter:
— Alex Gregory (@AlexGregory92) April 22, 2016
— Chris Harding (@Chris7Harding) April 22, 2016
— Sean Brookes (@53BFC53) April 22, 2016
By Callum Matthews