Lancashire snap up New Zealand superstar Martin Guptill for T20 Blast defence

Lancashire snap up New Zealand superstar Martin Guptill for T20 Blast defence

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Lancashire on their way to promotion under Giles last term. Pic: Luke Adams

Lancashire have swooped to add a big international star to their ranks for the Natwest T20 Blast by adding in New Zealand opening batsman Martin Guptill to the Red Rose ranks.

The big-hitting right-hander will add much needed firepower to the top of the Lightning’s order, boasting a T20 international average of 34.73 at a mighty strike rate of 131.44.

29-year-old Guptill will hope to replicate the success enjoyed by Lancashire’s overseas signing James Faulkner last season, with the Australian integral as the Lightning clinched their first T20 title.

Lancashire Head Coach Ashley Giles is delighted to be adding a player with the quality and experience of Guptill to their squad.

“Martin is a formidable batsman, particularly in white ball cricket, and is currently ranked as the world’s third best batsman in T20 cricket,” Giles told the club website.

“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 holds the highest score in a 50-over World Cup, smashing 237no in 2015 and was the first Black Cap to hit a 50-over double hundred. He also has a T20I century to his name, against South Africa.

He will be available for six of Lancashire’s seven group games before leaving the club, and could join international team-mate Neil Wagner in the Lightning line-up, after the left-arm seamer revealed he wanted to play across all three formats.

Guptill, who has played for Derbyshire in previous seasons, is delighted to be heading to Old Trafford.

“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.”

Lancashire are looking to become the first side to retain the T20 title and could also include Jos Buttler for much of the competition, while Tom Smith should return from injury, giving Giles a plethora of big-hitting batting options.

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