Lancashire complete a swoop for New Zealand star BJ Watling

New Zealand's BJ Watling will figure for Lancashire in part of the 2020 season
New Zealand's BJ Watling will figure for Lancashire in part of the 2020 season
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New Zealand international BJ Watling will join Lancashire for the first part of the 2020 County Championship.

Watling has signed for nine games of the first class season, starting against Kent at Emirates Old Trafford in April and finishing at Northamptonshire in July.

The 34-year-old is the Black Caps’ highest-scoring wicketkeeper in Test history and starred in the recent series against England, scoring a career-best 205 in the first match.

He recently passed the 3,500-run mark in Test cricket at an average of more than 40, including eight centuries and 18 half-centuries.

Watling had a two-game spell with Durham at the end of the 2019 season, scoring an unbeaten century against Glamorgan in the second.

Director of cricket, Paul Allott, said: “To have someone of BJ’s calibre on board for the first nine County Championship games of the season is fantastic and we’re looking forward to welcoming him to Emirates Old Trafford.

“We identified a top order batsman as a priority in the overseas player market and BJ fits the bill perfectly.

“His first class and Test record is exceptional and he adds valuable experience to the batting line-up.”

Watling added: “I am delighted to have signed for Lancashire.

“I enjoyed my first taste of English domestic cricket last year with Durham and I’m looking forward to getting started at Emirates Old Trafford in the New Year.

“It’s important to start quickly and I hope I can contribute towards plenty of wins in the first nine games.”