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Arron Lilley helps Leicestershire cope with Ben Raine departure

Former Lancashire allrounder Arron Lilley has signed a two-year contract with Leicestershire

George Dobell
George Dobell
Arron Lilley played as a top-order batsman in much of Lancashire's T20 Blast campaign  •  Getty Images

Arron Lilley played as a top-order batsman in much of Lancashire's T20 Blast campaign  •  Getty Images

Arron Lilley has joined Leicestershire on a two-year-contract. Lilley, an offspinning allrounder, was released by Lancashire at the end of the season and joins seamers Chris Wright, from Warwickshire, and Will Davis, from Derbyshire, in signing for Leicestershire.
Lilley developed through the Lancashire system and has a decent record in all forms of the game. Due to Lancashire's strength in spin bowling, however, he struggled for opportunities - he has played only one first-class and one List A match in the previous two seasons - and saw most of his appearances come in T20 cricket, where he has batted in the top-order and sometimes opened the bowling.
He was a member of the Lancashire side that won the T20 Blast in 2015 and will join left-arm spinner Callum Parkinson, who also developed through the Lancashire Academy, at Leicestershire.
The club hopes the signing of Lilley will go some way to filling the chasm left by the departure of Ben Raine, who has returned to Durham. Zak Chappell has also left, signing for Nottinghamshire, while Ned Eckersley, Richard Jones, Tom Wells, Mark Pettini and Rob Sayer were released at the end of the season. The club have also been in a long-running dispute with Michael Carberry, who has not played since he was deposed as captain in May. It seems most unlikely he will return.
Leicestershire also confirmed last week that Pakistan seamer Mohammad Abbas, who had an outstanding 2018 season, will be returning next year.
"Arron will add great value to our side," Leicestershire's head coach, Paul Nixon, said. "He is a three-dimensional cricketer who will be valuable in all formats. Lancashire are renowned for producing high-class spinners, and he wants to compete for a place in all three competitions.
"Arron also has a very good white-ball record and will add to our plans nicely. Arron is a hard-hitting batsman, fine off-spinner and tremendous fielder, and we're delighted to have him on board for the 2019 season."
Lilley said: "I am delighted to be joining up with Paul Nixon and the squad. I am keen to develop my game in all three formats and am confident that Grace Road is the best place for me to do that. I can't wait to get started."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo