The current number two Test batsman in the world, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, has signed for Derbyshire CCC.
The West Indies left-hander has penned a two-year contract with the club, retaining first option for a third season. He is expected to be available for all three domestic competitions throughout the 2013 campaign.
Chanderpaul has played 146 Tests for his country, scoring over 10,500 runs at an average of 51.67 with 27 centuries. He sits ninth in the list of all-time leading Test run-scorers and currently occupies second position in the ICC Test Batting rankings.
The 38-year-old also boasts impressive One Day International statistics with over 8,700 runs at an average of 41.60 from 268 appearances.
Exploits in first-class cricket, meanwhile, have seen him average 56 from close to 300 matches, including winning experience in the highest tier of domestic English cricket from back-to-back LV=County Championships with Durham in 2008 and 2009.
Head coach Karl Krikken said: “Shivnarine’s statistics in all forms of the game speak for themselves and he has been one of the standout players on the world stage for a long time.
“He knows what it takes to be successful and, as well as his outstanding ability with the bat, there is no doubt Shivnarine will have a hugely positive effect on our talented young squad as we embark on the challenge of Division One cricket.”
Chanderpaul, currently representing Guyana in the Caribbean t20, said of the move: “I’m excited to be joining an ambitious Club with a talented young side. I was impressed with Karl Krikken’s vision for the team and am looking forward to linking up with them at the start of the season.”
Chairman Chris Grant added: “We have recruited a world class player at the peak of his game and I hope this sends a message to our members and supporters that we mean business ahead of the 2013 season. The fact that Derbyshire are able to attract someone of his calibre is an indication of our ambition and the esteem in which the club is now held in the cricketing world.
“I would also like to place on record our thanks to Martin Guptill and Usman Khawaja who shared the overseas role during each of the last two seasons. They both played a massive part in achieving promotion for the club and will be welcomed back to the County Ground in future should an opportunity arise.
“We will continue to talk to Martin about the possibility of extending his UK stay after the New Zealand tour finishes this summer and joining Derbyshire’s Friends Life t20 campaign.
Simon Storey, chief executive, explained the importance of the signature to the club’s commercial plans. “We have already seen a very positive response to our Membership and Business Club campaigns for the coming season. The addition of a world-class player to augment our exciting young squad is another reason why supporters, members and local business partners will not want to miss out on this exciting season.”