In a move described by their coach Peter Moores as a "real coup", Lancashire yesterday recruited Kumar Sangakkara as their overseas player for next season.
The Sri Lanka captain will not arrive at Old Trafford until mid-June at the earliest due to international commitments, but signing a man who averages 55 in Test cricket for the business end of the season represents an astute piece of business by the former England coach.
The presence of Moores at Old Trafford is reported to have played a significant part in Sangakkara's decision to return to county cricket – he had a brief spell at Warwickshire two years ago – as was the guidance of Muttiah Muralitharan, formerly a happy presence at Old Trafford. "Kumar is hot property," said Moores. "He is arguably the most consistent batsman in international cricket, making his signing a real coup for Lancashire."
With Stephen Moore, a heavy scorer for Worcestershire, already heading for Old Trafford, Moores is assembling a weighty batting line-up, although they are likely to seek an overseas stand-in ahead of Sangakkara's arrival. "It's important that we start strongly and if the right overseas player is available, then that would be an ideal solution," said Mike Watkinson, the county's cricket director.