Derbyshire have landed the coveted signature of Kiwi ace Martin Guptill as their overseas player for the early part of the 2015 season.
The top-order batsman will be available for the opening six LV= County Championship matches and three NatWest T20 Blast fixtures, before joining New Zealand ahead of their One-Day International (ODI) series versus England.
He last toured England in 2013, ending the three-match ODI series as the leading run scorer with 330 runs, which included two centuries, a spectacular unbeaten 189 off 155 balls at the Ageas Bowl and 103 off 123 balls at Lord’s.
The 28-year-old is making a fond return to The 3aaa County Ground after enjoying successful spells with the Club in 2011 and 2012, during which he scored 1,131 first-class runs at an average of 43.50, including three centuries.
As well as playing a leading role in the Division Two winning side in 2012, Guptill enjoyed further success in List A cricket with Derbyshire, hitting three centuries in nine appearances at an average of over 70.
He also represented the club in 14 Twenty20 matches, averaging 34 with three half-centuries.
Guptill said: “I always wanted to go back to Derbyshire when the time was right.
“I get on great with the people and have lots of really good memories.
“Hopefully I can help my county make a quick start to the season to get them in the promotion mix again; and get the lads off to a flier in NatWest T20 Blast.”
The signing of Guptill is sure to be popular with members and supporters and comes with just one week to go until the February 1 deadline for 2015 membership at reduced early bird prices.
Elite Performance Director, Graeme Welch said: “Martin is a proven match-winner. He’s proved it for New Zealand and he’s done it a number of times for Derbyshire too, across all three forms of the game.
“We hope he can repeat the form of his last spell.
“He’s probably an even better player now than the one that left when you look at what he did to England in 2013.
“He’ll fit well into our dressing room and into the culture we’re building.
“From what I’ve heard, he was a great example as a senior pro with the club back then and I’ll be looking for that again.”