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Lancashire Lightning sign Martin Guptill for NatWest T20 Blast

Lancashire Lightning sign Martin Guptill for NatWest T20 Blast
Martin Guptill was picked by the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League as well replacing Lendl Simmons.
©REUTERS / Action Images

New Zealand opening batsman Martin Guptill has joined Lancashire Lightning for the 2016 NatWest Twenty20 Blast where he will play the first six games.

Guptill, who is currently featuring for the Mumbai Indians side in the Indian Premier League (IPL), has 4,686 runs from 156 Twenty20 matches along with two hundreds and 30 fifties.

The 29-year-old right hander is the third-ranked batsman in Twenty20 Internationals according to the ICC, where he has 1,806 runs from 61 matches, making him the third highest run-scorer in the format.

Expressing his delight with the opportunity to play for Lancashire, Guptill wants to contribute to the club by helping them retain the trophy they secured for the first time last year.

"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," Guptill said.

"I hope I can make a real impact and help with their pursuit for another trophy in white ball cricket."

Ashley Giles, the Lancashire cricket director and head coach, hailed Guptill’s ability to win matches single-handedly and is confident of a strong performance from the New Zealander.

“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 said.

“He’s currently playing IPL cricket alongside (Lancashire wicket-keeper) 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.”

Lancashire are the defending champions of the NatWest T20 Blast after having defeated Northamptonshire by 13 runs in the 2015 final.

© Cricket World 2016