Lancashire have signed opening batsman Keaton Jennings from Durham on a four-year contract.
Jennings is therefore confirmed as the third Durham player to leave the club in the past week, following Paul Coughlin, who has joined Nottinghamshire, and Graham Onions, whose was also confirmed as a Lancashire player a few hours later.
“I am hugely excited at the opportunity to work with head coach Glen Chapple, a fellow pace bowler who I’ve greatly admired, and join up with Lancashire over the next two years,” Onions said.
The Jennings announcement will be a blow to Notts who had high hopes of attracting him but whose uncertain progress towards promotion from Division Two of the Specsavers Championship might have counted against them.
Jennings made his international debut in India last year and became the eighth England opener to make a century on Test debut after hitting 112 in the fourth Test in Mumbai.
His leadership qualities are highly prized and he has been touted as a future England captain as well as gaining experience with Durham as a 50-over captain. However, the prolific form of 2016, which won him England honours, has been sandwiched between two frustrating seasons and he will calculate that a move to Lancashire will help revitalise his batting.
Lancashire’s head coach Glen Chapple said: “I am very pleased Keaton has signed for Lancashire as I know there were other counties chasing his signature. He’s exactly the type of character and player I feel will add strength and depth to our squad. Keaton will be an important part of the squad, in all formats of the game, over the coming years.”
Jennings enjoyed an outstanding 2016 season for Durham in all competitions. He was the leading run-scorer in the County Championship with 1,548 runs at an average of 64.50 with seven centuries, including a double-hundred against Yorkshire.
“It was an extremely difficult decision to leave Durham, but I am hugely excited about joining Lancashire and playing my cricket at Emirates Old Trafford,” Jennings said. “It’s a fantastic opportunity for me to play Division One cricket at a Test match ground for a club with such a great history and tradition.
“I have been hugely impressed by the vision for the future and playing a part in that alongside some hugely talented individuals and strong leaders.”
Jennings has also played a key role in Durham’s white-ball teams in recent years. He was an ever-present in the 2016 NatWest T20 Blast campaign, hitting a career-best 88 as the Jets were beaten finalists at Edgbaston. Jennings also has three List A centuries to his name and averages over 40.
Paul Allott, who was confirmed as the club’s new cricket director, said: “Keaton is an outstanding cricketer and his record in county cricket is very impressive. Not many players hit a century on their England debut and that tells you everything you need to know about him. There was a healthy competition to sign him and it’s fantastic that he has chosen Lancashire.
“Any player we bring into this club has to fit in with the strong, tight knit culture that has been created. The core values of playing for Lancashire are very important to us and any new players need to buy into them. Keaton is a great example of someone who has these values ingrained in him.”
Source: ESPN Crickinfo