Lancashire have announced a major new capture with England opener Keaton Jennings arriving after turning down a contract extension with Durham.
The left-hander opened for England in the Test series against South Africa this summer and his signing on a long-term deal at Old Trafford is a statement of intent from Lancashire.
Just moments after Durham announced that the 25-year-old would be leaving Chester-le-Street, it was announced by Lancashire that he would be joining the club on a four-year deal next season.
“I am very pleased Keaton has signed for Lancashire as I know there were other counties chasing his signature,” Lancashire head coach Glen Chapple said.
“He’s exactly the type of character and player I feel will add strength and depth to our squad.”
Jennings was the leading runs-scorer in Division One last season, making 1,548 runs with seven centuries which resulted in his inclusion in England’s plans.
He made a century on his England debut, hitting 112 in the fourth Test against India in Mumbai.
Jennings himself expressed his sadness at leaving Durham but is excited for his future at Lancashire.
“My heartfelt gratitude goes to Durham County for the opportunities, support and guidance in enabling me to follow my dream of playing cricket in England,” Jennings said.
“Despite being career-driven, the decision to move on has been agonisingly difficult for me. Everyone in the north has become, and will remain, “family” to me.
“It was an extremely difficult decision to leave Durham, but I am hugely excited about joining Lancashire and playing my cricket at Emirates Old Trafford.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for me to play Division One cricket at a Test Match ground for a club like Lancashire, with such a great history and tradition.
“I have been hugely impressed by the vision for the future and playing a part in that alongside some hugely talented individuals and strong leaders.”
Jennings becomes the latest player to announce their decision to leave Durham with Paul Coughlin joining Nottinghamshire last week and Graham Onions, another linked to Lancashire, turning down a contract extension yesterday.
Durham Chairman Sir Ian Botham wishes Jennings well in his new challenge.
“Keaton has been an important player for Durham, a natural leader and I have been hugely impressed by his professionalism and courtesy through what has been a very difficult decision for him,” he said.
“I would like to take the opportunity to wish him well for the future.”