County news September 30, 2013

Lancashire confirm Buttler signing

ESPNcricinfo staff

Lancashire have signed England's limited-overs wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler. The move had been widely expected after Buttler announced his decision to leave Somerset to pursue more opportunities as a keeper last week.

Although he has established himself for England in ODI and T20 cricket, his progress with the gloves had been hindered by the presence of his international predecessor, Craig Kieswetter, at Somerset. The club were unwilling to guarantee Buttler the role of first-choice wicketkeeper in all formats and he was faced with a choice of playing as a specialist batsman or moving away from the county where he came through the ranks.

The move will also give Buttler the chance to work with former England coach, Peter Moores, who was responsible for guiding Matt Prior, England's Test wicketkeeper, in the early stages of his career at Sussex.

Buttler said he was keen to develop his skills as a wicketkeeper batsman at Lancashire, who released Gareth Cross last week. "They have a strong squad and are very ambitious to build on this season's achievement," Buttler said. "The club has an exceptional coaching staff which will help me to continue to develop as a keeper-batsman."

Buttler came up through the Somerset academy system and made his first-class debut in 2009 against Lancashire. In 80 List A games, he has scored 2296 runs at an average of 51.02 and taken 74 catches. In first-class cricket, he has 2031 runs at 31.73 and has taken 82 catches.

He made his ODI debut in February 2012 and has since played 19 games, scoring 298 runs and taking 30 catches and one stumping. He scored two eye-catching half-centuries in the recently completed one-day series against Australia, confirming his potential as an international batsman. In 25 T20 internationals, Buttler has scored 286 runs, since making his debut in August 2011.

"It is great news Jos will be joining us and he will become part of a highly competitive squad," Moores said. "His style of cricket will add value to the team in all formats of the game and his potential as a player is very exciting."

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  • Toby on October 2, 2013, 0:31 GMT

    @ Graham Turner, Somerset DID NOT "beat Warwickshire but were denied by a bad decision": there were about 6 shocking decisions that went AGAINST Warwickshire in that game, as well as a couple that went against Somerset. In no way did Somerset have the worst of those umpiring errors: they came out in significant credit from them if anything.

  • John on October 1, 2013, 11:20 GMT

    @ChewtonMendip on (October 1, 2013, 9:41 GMT) I think Somerset had to weigh many things into the equation. As already pointed out is the availability aspect with Craig seemingly long term out of favour with England and the murmurs of Jos being groomed to take over at test level. And I don't think Eng are particularly considerate of the county's / county fans best interests as shown when Jos wasn't available for the YB semi. No one could have foreseen this situation before Jos kept for England otherwise Somerset could have tried to extend his contract before this year. Although maybe Somerset could have tried to extend his contract before then anyway. Maybe they did or maybe they just presumed that Jos would be another Tres and never leave his beloved club? Personally , I think Jos's head was turned and even if he was given the gloves full time there'd have been further issues down the line. Sad period for Somerset. Almost reminds me of when they lost Botham,Viv and Joel

  • Mark on October 1, 2013, 11:03 GMT

    @JG: Will Smith was released but I think Hants signed him up (as well as Matt Coles, good for them). Coughtrie and Muchall were released from Glos but not the caliber we need to look at (and I don't want any more Glos players!). Davey and London were released from Middlesex, don't know much about London, Davey wouldn't be much better than Barrow/Jones I doubt. de Bruyn has been released from Surrey, from a playing PoV, he'd still be valuable, not sure how popular a signing that would be though! Nobody else of note really, but I do think Moore would be a tidy signing.

  • Martin on October 1, 2013, 9:41 GMT

    Hearing that Jos Buttler, the boy from Wedmore, a Somerset lad through and through, is leaving Somerset CCC is one of worst bits of news I have ever heard as a Somerset fan. We have produced one of the most exciting young talents in world cricket and have forced him out of the club. He is a potentially both a better w/k and a better batsman than Kiesy and yet we have opted to stick with the inferior player. Unable to take a decision that would have made Kiesy feel understandably very disappointed, we have instead forced out the local hero, who loved playing for Somerset and was loved by the local supporters. I am incredulous that we could produce such a talented player and then cause him to have to further develop his talents elsewhere. It's almost incomprehensible. Kiesy would have hated no longer being considered no. 1 and it was a tough decision to make but it should have been made. This is a truly sad episode in the history of Somerset CCC. Wish Jos al the very best though.

  • G on October 1, 2013, 9:12 GMT

    As a Lancashire fan, I hope that Buttler does adapt to playing at Old Trafford === he didn't do too bad last time he played at old trafford. Makes you wonder how somerset made all these finals, every time they venture out of Taunton and these strange wickets they have to play on - "This isn't a perfect batting surface! What do we do???"

  • Chris on October 1, 2013, 8:51 GMT

    Sadly, fishface1971, the 'three men and a dog' you consider Buttler will be playing against at Old Trafford will not be there - the dog would not be allowed in and the three men would be interrogated by the security guards on the gate about smuggling in dangerous metal cans of dog food and tin openers which could be used as lethal weapons.

    From Buttler's point of view, he's a young man just wanting to play cricket at the highest level. Whether the ECB has told him that he must be playing regular county cricket to progress his England aspirations, I don't know.

    As a Lancashire fan, I hope that Buttler does adapt to playing at Old Trafford - it will feel considerably different to playing at the welcoming and friendly Taunton ground. The whole shenanigans around the departure of Cross and the arrival of Buttler doesn't sit right with me at all but we are where we are and now we just have to get on with it.

  • John on October 1, 2013, 8:42 GMT

    @ landl47 - Time will tell as to whether it's a good decision or not. There's still a gamble element to the move.

    If he goes on and improves his all round game then the move is an all round success. He'll obviously improve his WKing but his batting could even go downhill in unfamiliar surroundings. suppose there's the Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained way of looking at it but if Jos is not keeping for England in a few years time I dont see how the move will have progressed his game - unless of course he wants to keep for reasons other than getting into the Eng team. It'll also be interested to see how Eng treat Jos.You'd think they'd have to give more leeway than they did to his ex teammates if/when he goes through a lean period but I'll be interested to see how much they'll bear it in mind that they've basically instigated a move of a homegrown player.There could be a scenario where his performances are worthy of being dropped but Eng feel morally bound to stick by him

  • John on October 1, 2013, 1:28 GMT

    What Buttler needs is, first, to work on his FC batting. Even if he's a great keeper a batting average of 31 isn't going to get him into the England test side. He has the ability, as he showed in the ODIs, but now he needs the discipline. I think he's more likely to get that at Lancs than Somerset. Second, he needs to keep all the time. Part-time W/Ks don't make the test side. Since Somerset wouldn't agree to that, he really had no choice but to move.

    @JG2704: I have every sympathy with Somerset, who were between a rock and a hard place. However, to suggest that Buttler should have settled for a watered-down role at Somerset instead of going for the best possible chance to get to the test side isn't reasonable. With players like Cook (still only 28), Root, Ballance, Vince, Taylor, Lees as batsmen and Bairstow and Foakes as W/Ks, not to mention Stokes and Woakes as all-rounders, Buttler is going to need to grasp every advantage he can to make the test side.

  • Dummy4 on September 30, 2013, 21:02 GMT

    Hopefully the move will be good for Buttler - more keeping experience as 1st choice in all formats and a more challenging pitch to bat on. To become England's second choice test keeper he needs to improve his 1st class batting as well as his keeping.

  • John on September 30, 2013, 20:44 GMT

    @MM ctd - Who else is out of contract? Ravi would be good shout. Also I see Shah has retired from 1st class cricket but I think he's not retired from shorter formats. I wonder if he'll still play for Essex? And I wonder if he could be signed for shorter formats as a non overseas player?

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