Derbyshire Falcons are aiming to make this summer’s Vitality Blast life in the fast lane for their opponents after signing the Australian express Billy Stanlake.
The 24-year old will be the county’s second overseas player alongside New Zealand paceman Logan van Beek for the tournament, which starts in July.
The news follows the withdrawal of Kane Richardson from the Blast because of his inclusion in Australia’s WorldCup squad.
Stanlake was already on Derbyshire’s radar when they looked for possible recruits in the winter.
He has an impressive pedigree in T20 cricket, having won the Big Bash in Australia with the Adelaide Strikers in 2017-18.
He would have played for Yorkshire in last season’s Blast but pulled out on the advice of Cricket Australia.
Derbyshire’s head of cricket, Dave Houghton, believes the 6’ 8” fast bowler will bring another dimension to the team.
“He came on the scene a few years ago for Australia,” Houghton said.
“He is seen as an exciting prospect and he’s played quite a bit of T20 international cricket for Australia.
“I’ve seen him bowl in the Big Bash quite a bit and a couple of times in the IPL.
“But besides actually seeing what a prospect he is, other people said this is a guy you should be looking at.
“When we were looking for an overseas T20 player the area we identified was someone who could take the new ball and importantly could bowl at the back end of the innings.
“We saw in our 50-over campaign we played some really good cricket, but that (fast ball bowling) was an area we needed to shore up and needed strengthening.
“So when we went for Kane Richardson, it was with that in mind.
“But at the same time we had Billy on our list as well so when Kane withdrew because of his involvement in the World Cup we went straight to Billy.
“We think he will do a fantastic job for us.
“He was one of the guys on the forefront of our plans but we went for Kane because he’d had his best Big Bash campaign.
“We had no hesitation, however, in turning our attention to Billy.
“He brings a little bit of variation because he’s so tall and on top of being an outstanding bowler and having good pace, he brings bounce into the equation.
“Our wickets at Derby at the moment have been fantastic in one-day and four-day — and I’m sure they’ll be the same in T20.
“The one thing they do have is pace and bounce, which I think he will enjoy.”