Lancashire signs Tom Bruce as overseas player

Lancashire have signed New Zealand batter Tom Bruce as their second overseas player for 2024. The seasoned New Zealand batter, with a T20I cap and an impressive first-class average of 49.85, is set to join Lancashire as their second overseas player for the 2024 season.

 Lancashire have signed New Zealand batter Tom Bruce as their second overseas player for 2024. The seasoned New Zealand batter, with a T20I cap and an impressive first-class average of 49.85, is set to join Lancashire as their second overseas player for the 2024 season.

The scheduling clash with the ICC T20 World Cup presented itself as an obstacle, but Lancashire saw it as an opportunity to secure a player of Bruce’s caliber. His availability during the T20 World Cup was strategically factored into the signing.

Mark Chilton, Lancashire’s director of cricket performance, expressed his enthusiasm about the acquisition, emphasizing Bruce’s availability throughout the season. “This will allow Tom to settle in, become part of the squad and create consistency and stability in our team selections throughout the summer,” Chilton remarked.

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“Tom is a hugely experienced cricketer, and we feel that his skillset will be a good fit within our squad. He has had a hugely impressive few years with the bat in domestic cricket over in New Zealand – with an outstanding record in both the Plunkett Shield and Super Smash competitions as well as for New Zealand A and is very close to full international selection.

“With the ICC T20 World Cup taking place in June and July this year at the same time as the Vitality Blast, the availability of overseas options is at a premium. Therefore, Tom’s quality, experience and full season availability makes him a strong addition to the squad.

“We believe that Tom will offer us a lot of options as he strengthens our middle order in the County Championship whilst his powerful hitting will give our batting line-up a new dimension towards the backend of an innings in the Vitality Blast and Metro Bank One Day Cup.”

Bruce’s arrival was a timely remedy for the departure of Dane Vilas, a Lancashire stalwart who had graced the county for seven seasons.

Lancashire, having finished mid-table in County Championship Division One the previous year, aimed for a resurgence under the guidance of their new director of cricket performance and head coach Dale Benkenstein, who had been recruited from Gloucestershire during the off-season.

Tom Bruce, expressing his excitement, said, “To have the opportunity to spend a full county cricket season with a club like Lancashire is a dream come true, and to have Emirates Old Trafford as my home ground was another massive draw for me.” He envisioned making meaningful contributions to Lancashire’s campaign, particularly strengthening the middle order in the County Championship and providing powerful hitting in the Vitality Blast and Metro Bank One Day Cup.

“I feel that I have a lot to add to Lancashire and after speaking to Mark Chilton and Dale Benkenstein I am really excited about what we can achieve together with such a talented group of players in the 2024 season.”

(IANS)