County news January 15, 2016

Lancashire sign Wagner for 2016

Neil Wagner's pace and aggression will strengthen Lancashire's Championship challenge © AFP

Lancashire have signed Neil Wagner as their overseas player for the majority of their 2016 first-class season.

Wagner, the New Zealand left-arm seamer, will be available from the start of the County Championship season and will feature primarily in that competition. He will be available until at least the end of July and could be available for the entire season if not required for New Zealand's tour of South Africa.

He has currently taken 67 wickets from his 18 Tests. He has previously had a brief spell in county cricket with Northamptonshire - he came into a struggling side in 2014 and took only 10 first-class wickets in five matches at a cost of 72.80 apiece - and has also played club cricket in the region for Ormskirk in 2008. He claimed five wickets in an over while playing for Otago against Wellington in April 2011.

His aggression, stamina and commitment should render him a useful addition to a Lancashire side that was promoted back to Division One at the end of last year. With the top division almost certain to shrink to eight teams (from nine) at the end of 2016, Lancashire will have little opportunity to consolidate.

"We are delighted to have brought in Neil Wagner to strengthen our bowling attack," Lancashire coach, Ashley Giles, said. "Neil is a world class bowler with a tremendous pedigree and having him available for such an extended period will give our Division One campaign a real boost."

"I am extremely excited to play for such a great club," Wagner said. "I have always admired Lancashire, ever since playing in the Liverpool Lancashire league for Ormskirk in 2008."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • kropotkin on January 16, 2016, 22:04 GMT

    I'm glad that you're pleased to have Wagner, Nutcutlet, but he's not a New Zealander, he's a South African. New Zealand cricket is swamped with South African, Zimbabwean and Namibian-born players. I've watched Neil's progress since he arrived in Dunedin and he's always given everything for his team. The effort that he's consistently produced for Otago has been similar to that we used to get from our former overseas professional, Neil Mallender. If Wagner doesn't succeed for Lancashire, it won't be for lack of trying.

  • Nutcutlet on January 16, 2016, 9:55 GMT

    Lancashire is likely to start the campaign with the realistic objective of surviving in Div. 1. I would have thought that Neil Wagner is just the right type of player to sign: a typical Kiwi battler with an English-type of skill set. I hope the arrangement works out well on both sides. I'm looking forward to seeing him play at Old Trafford (albeit in a neutral capacity!).

  • AmiUtsab on January 16, 2016, 6:37 GMT

    Good signing. All the best!

  • espncricinfomobile on January 15, 2016, 23:08 GMT

    As a LCCC member let me b the first to welcome our new overseas player. Whilst he may not be a Flying Dutchman hopefully he will b able to fly to our rescue with the ball!

  • Dumbo on January 15, 2016, 20:47 GMT

    a conservative signing by a team expecting to be relegated? I didn't fancy lanc's chances of staying up prior to announcing their overseas signing and i am no more Optimistic now I know the identity of said overseas signing.

  • whatawicket on January 15, 2016, 16:32 GMT

    would rather we had got faulkner. but i suppose he will be plying his T20 game in other parts of the world. but if Wagner is available perhaps for most of the season then i can see the logic. who are our 2 overseas T20. hope faulkner is available for that.

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