Lancashire have announced the double signing of former West Indian Test player Shivnarine Chanderpaul and South Africa wicket-keeper batsman Dane Vilas.
The departure of two senior experienced batsmen in the form of Ashwell Prince and the banned Alviro Petersen in recent seasons, along with the early retirement of former skipper Tom Smith has seen head coach Glen Chapple prioritise strengthening Lancashire’s batting unit heading into the 2017 season.
So the 42-year-old Chanderpaul returns to Old Trafford having joined Lancashire in the 2010 season where he played eight first class matches for the Red Rose hitting two centuries and five half centuries.
The veteran West Indian has scored over 20,000 runs, including 30 Test centuries, in international cricket for the West Indies with only Sachin Tendulkar, Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting and Jacques Kallis having played more Tests than Chanderpaul, who joins Lancashire on a one-year non-overseas contract.
Chapple, commenting on the new signings said, “We’re delighted to bring two experienced international batsmen into the Club ahead of the new season. Shivnarine and Dane will form an important part of our side in 2017 and we look forward to welcoming them to Old Trafford.”
On the signing of Chanderpaul, Chapple added, “We’re thrilled to be able to bring Shivnarine back to Lancashire for the 2017 season. He knows what it takes to be successful and there is no doubt that he will have a positive effect on our squad.
“The talented squad at Lancashire is very young and Shivnarine will bring a healthy level of experience to help guide them.“Whilst Shivnarine will undoubtedly have an important role to play on the field, his role off the field will be of huge importance to our young players. He’s one of the most experienced international cricketers in the history of the game and it will be a fantastic opportunity for our players to learn from him, in all aspects of the game.”
Vilas made his Test debut for South Africa against Bangladesh in August 2015 and most recently appeared as a late replacement for Quinton de Kock in the Test series against England in January 2016.
The 31 year-old has played in 96 first class matches and has scored 7,580 runs at an average of nearly 40. He has 12 four-day centuries to his name including a top score of 216 not out for Cape Cobras.
Vilas has signed a two-year non-overseas contract and will join up with Lancashire in March.
Chapple said, “Signing a player of Dane’s undoubted calibre and experience is a great boost as we continue our preparations ahead of the new season. He has an excellent record in First Class cricket and is a very good wicket keeper.
"Dane’s aggressive batting style will see him as an important part of our T20 and one-day sides in 2017, as well as four day cricket."
Chanderpaul commented, “I can’t wait to return back to Lancashire this summer. I thoroughly enjoyed playing for the club in 2010 and I’m looking forward to joining up with the team ahead of the start to the season.
“It’s an extremely ambitious club and there are some fantastically talented young cricketers in the squad. I’m looking forward to passing on some of my experience to the younger players in the squad. The 2017 season is going to be an exciting and progressive one for Lancashire."
Vilas, commenting after signing a two-year deal said, "Lancashire is one of the biggest Clubs in England and I'm really excited about this opportunity to play my cricket at Emirates Old Trafford this summer.
"I'm relishing the opportunity of playing county cricket this summer. It's going to be a huge challenge personally and I'm already looking forward to linking up with the squad ahead of the start to the season. There are a lot of exciting players in the squad and we'll be hoping to challenge for silverware in all competitions."
Prince is retired from cricket, while Petersen is suspended from the game for two years after being embroiled in a match-fixing affair.