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English county side Lancashire have signed Indian batsman Shreyas Iyer for the duration of the 2021 Royal London Cup, the domestic 50-over tournament in the country.
Iyer will arrive at Emirates Old Trafford on Thursday 15 July ahead of the start of the 50 over tournament and will remain with the Red Rose for the duration of the month-long group stage.
The top-order batsman is regarded as one of the most attacking and fluent stroke players in the Indian ranks and has played in 50 One-Day and T20 Internationals for his Country.
26-year-old Iyer is a star name of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and captained Delhi Capitals to the final last year crashing 519 runs - the fourth highest in the tournament – at a strike rate of 123. Following the conclusion of the last IPL, Iyer played in all three matches of India's 2-1 ODI series victory in Australia and is currently part of the ongoing India series against England.
In total, Iyer has scored over 6,000 One-Day runs across his career so far hitting nine centuries. He averages just short of 45 in ODI cricket with eight fifties and a century to his name, since debuting in 2017.
The signing of Shreyas Iyer signals the latest step in Lancashire's long association with Indian cricket, which stretches back more than 50 years when Indian International wicketkeeper batsman Farokh Engineer joined the county in 1968. He would go on to become a Lancashire legend and now serves as a Vice-President of the Club. Since Engineer retired, four further Indian Internationals – Murali Kartik, Dinesh Mongia, V.V.S. Laxman and Sourav Ganguly – have represented the Red Rose with distinction. In addition to this, legendary Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar hit his maiden Test Century at Emirates Old Trafford in August 1990.
More recently, Lancashire Cricket has continued its multi-layered strategic relationship by hosting last year's pre-season training camp in Mumbai and, in a first for an English County, during 2020 Lancashire Cricket matches were streamed live to Indian fans on the subcontinent via the popular JioTV.
In anticipation of the England v India Test Match Series at Emirates Old Trafford from 10-14 September, and as celebration of Shreyas' arrival, Lancashire Cricket will be hosting a special Indian Summer events schedule during 2021. A series of events will take place that aim to bring the energy and excitement that Indian cricket supporters are famous for to Emirates Old Trafford on a regular basis.
Speaking after agreeing to join Lancashire for the 2021 Royal London Cup, Shreyas said: "Lancashire is a legendary name in English Cricket with a long-standing association with Indian Cricket. I am extremely humbled and honoured to carry the legacy forward of greats like Farokh Engineer, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman at Lancashire.
"Emirates Old Trafford is a world class international stadium and I am looking forward to meeting my teammates and the supporters of the Club."
Lancashire's Director of Cricket, Paul Allott, added: "Shreyas is one of the shining lights of a new generation of Indian batsmen and a leader, and we're delighted that an opportunity to bring him to Emirates Old Trafford has presented itself.
"With the expectation that we will be fielding a younger side in this year's Royal London Cup due to the Hundred, it was important that we brought in a top-order batsman with experience at the highest level to enhance our prospects in the tournament.
"Shreyas has experience of captaining in an IPL final as well as playing in top level international fixtures, so his on-field skills, and ability to remain calm in high pressure situations, will serve our young squad well this summer.
"His current form against England has been hugely impressive and we're looking forward to welcoming him to Lancashire Cricket and Emirates Old Trafford later this summer.
"We hope that this signing will reward Members' patience for not being able to attend Lancashire fixtures last year and demonstrates our continued commitment across all three domestic competitions this summer."
Lancashire Cricket will kick off their Royal London Cup campaign at home to Sussex on Friday 23 July, with a friendly fixture against Cumberland CCC on Tuesday 20 July.