The 10 World Cup stars coming to a county ground near you

By Phil DawkesBBC Sport
Kumar Sangakkara (left), Martin Guptill (Top centre), Glenn Maxwell (top right), Chris Gayle (bottom right)
English domestic cricket is welcoming some of the best players from the 2015 World Cup this summer

The World Cup may be over but that does not mean you will be deprived of seeing some of the big-hitting stars of the tournament in action.

A host of the top talent on display in Australia and New Zealand over February and March will be plying their trade in county cricket this summer.

This includes five players who made it into the International Cricket Council team of the tournament, New Zealand's record-breaking opener, some of world cricket's most explosive batsmen and an all-rounder nicknamed 'Boom Boom'.

With the County Championship season starting on Sunday, here is a selection of the international superstars coming to a county ground near you.

Brendon McCullum (New Zealand)

Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum has previously played for Glamorgan and Sussex

County: Warwickshire

Where/when could you see him? Seven matches in the T20 Blast - Old Trafford v Lancashire (26 June), Edgbaston v Derbyshire (3 July), Lancashire (17 July), Northamptonshire (22 July), Leicester v Leicestershire (4 July), Worcester v Worcestershire (10 July), Headingley v Yorkshire (24 July).

McCullum came agonisingly close to leading his country to the biggest prize in cricket. Ultimately, New Zealand fell short against fellow hosts Australia at the MCG, but the Black Caps, and particularly McCullum, walked away with their heads held high. It wasn't so much the number of runs McCullum scored in the tournament as the positive manner in which he scored them, setting the tone for everyone who followed.

In signing the 33-year-old Kiwi captain, Warwickshire have not only recruited an opening batsman whose ferocious power has made him the leading run-scorer in international T20 cricket, but also one of modern cricket's most forward-thinking skippers. He will undoubtedly be an asset in helping them defend the short-format title they won at Edgbaston last August.

World Cup 2015 record

Did you know? In his youth, McCullum once kept legendary All Black Dan Carter out as fly-half in their South Islands secondary school rugby union side.

Martin Guptill (New Zealand)

Martin Guptill
2015 will be Martin Guptill's second spell with Derbyshire

County: Derbyshire

Where/when could you see him? Season warm-up and first three County Championship matches - Fenner's v Cambridge MCCU (12-14 April), Derby v Lancashire (19-22 April), Bristol v Gloucestershire (26-29 April), Cardiff v Glamorgan (3-6 May).

McCullum's Black Caps opening partner was one of the surprise stars of the World Cup, not because his ability was unappreciated but because of the sheer excellence of his achievements. Guptill demonstrated his explosive power at the top of the order in an ODI against England in May 2013 with an unbeaten 189 in an 86-run win at the Rose Bowl.

But Guptill beat his own Kiwi record with a brilliant World Cup record 237 not out from 163 balls against West Indies in the quarter-final in Wellington to help him end the tournament as leading run scorer with 547. If he carries that on in the three County Championship and three T20 matches he is scheduled to play, this could be the most prolific of his three spells with the county to date.

World Cup 2015 record

Did you know? At the age 13, Guptill was involved in a forklift accident and lost three toes from his left foot, earning him the nickname "Two Toes" within the Black Caps team.

Tillakaratne Dilshan (Sri Lanka)

Tillakaratne Dilshan
Tillakaratne Dilshan is making his domestic debut in England this summer

County: Derbyshire

Where/when could you see him? County Championship and T20 Blast over two spells (June & August-September) - first potential game of initial spell is at Derby v Durham (5 June). Second spell starts at Guildford v Surrey (2 August).

Aggression, timing, creativity; just three of the things Tillakaratne Dilshan will bring to the Derbyshire top order in 2015. Such qualities were not on display as often as some would have liked at the World Cup, particularly when it mattered, as Sri Lanka fell to a quarter-final defeat by South Africa.

But a return of 395 runs at an average of 65.83, including two centuries, is still healthy and one that Derbyshire will be hoping the 38-year-old will continue when he joins them for two spells over the 2015 season.

This will be Dilshan's second successive summer in Division Two in England after his spell with Surrey last season, during which he played in the T20 Blast and three County Championship fixtures.

World Cup 2015 record

Did you know? Dilshan has his own clothing range 'Dil Scoop', named after his famous shot. He posed for a serious of poster ads for the fashion line that included him abseiling shirtless.

Chris Gayle (West Indies)

Chris Gayle
Chris Gayle played for Worcestershire in 2005

County: Somerset

Where/when could you see him? T20 - at least five games - first potential game is at Taunton v Sussex (22 May).

When Chris Gayle scored 215 in West Indies' 73-run win over Zimbabwe in Canberra, most people assumed we had seen the biggest individual score of the 2015 World Cup. Guptill's 237 ensured it wasn't but that takes nothing away from the Jamaican's magnificently brutal knock.

Brilliant and frustrating in equal measure, Gayle is always entertaining, all of which he showcased with his eight sixes in a score of 61 off 33 balls in the unsuccessful chase of New Zealand's 393 in the quarter-final. Gayle holds the record for the highest T20 score of 175 and Somerset director of cricket Matthew Maynard believes the 35-year-old has the potential to break T20 Blast records this summer.

World Cup 2015 record

Did you know? Gayle hit 26 sixes in the 2015 World Cup - five more than any other batsman. He was the first man to hit a six off the first ball of a Test match - off Sohag Gazi against Bangladesh in 2012.

Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka)

Kumar Sangakkara
Sangakkara retired from ODI cricket at the end of the 2015 World Cup

County: Surrey

Where/when could you see him? Most of the 2015 season as part of a two-year deal - first potential match is season warm-up at The Parks v Oxford MCCU. First County Championship fixture is at Cardiff v Glamorgan (19-22 April).

Left-handed wicketkeeper-batsman Sangakkara is currently top of the International Cricket Council Test batting rankings and second in the ODI standings. That follows 12 calendar months that have seen him score two double hundreds and 319 in the longer format and become the first player to score four consecutive hundreds in the 50-over game at the World Cup.

Less burdened by the need to lead his country in all formats of the game following Sangakkara's retirement from ODI cricket, Surrey should get a settled player with plenty of county experience, from spells with Warwickshire and Durham, and one at the peak of his powers. With the 37-year-old at one end and Kevin Pietersen at the other, opposition bowlers could be in for some long, painful afternoons at The Oval.

World Cup 2015 record

Did you know? At one stage, Sangakkara was not intending to play cricket for a living and was instead pursuing a career in law. 12,203 Test and 14,234 ODI runs suggest he made the right choice.

Grant Elliott (New Zealand)

Grant Elliott
Grant Elliott left his native South Africa in 2001 and began playing for New Zealand in 2008

County: Leicestershire

Where/when could you see him? T20 Blast - initial 10-game contract - first potential match is at Leicester v Derbyshire (22 May).

Few who witnessed the penultimate-ball six that South Africa-born Grant Elliott smashed down Eden Park to send his adopted country through to the World Cup final at the expense of the country of his birth will ever forget it. The 36-year-old Elliott, who came to the fore at the business end of the tournament, was, largely, the sole resistance to the Australia steam-roller in the final.

Elliott's forte is the shorter formats of the game, where his strong temperament, powerful middle-order hitting and efficient medium-pace swing bowling make him an extremely valuable commodity. Leicestershire will use him exclusively in the T20 Blast, but the amount of games he will play might be restricted by his inclusion in New Zealand's one-day squad for the tour of England this summer.

World Cup 2015 record

Did you know? Elliott played for Surrey Championship side Weybridge in 2008 - the same summer he made his New Zealand debut.

Corey Anderson (New Zealand)

Corey Anderson
Corey Anderson has played 10 Tests, scoring 457 runs at 30.46

County: Somerset

Where/when could you see him? Second half of the T20 Blast - first potential game is at Uxbridge v Middlesex (26 June). Taunton v Glamorgan (28 June), Gloucestershire (3 July), Middlesex (24 July), Canterbury v Kent (10 July), The Oval v Surrey (17 July), Southampton v Hampshire (23 July).

Another Black Cap World Cup success story. All-rounder Corey Anderson scored 231 runs at number six, including 75 against Sri Lanka in the pool stage and a crucial 58 against South Africa in the semi-final, and utilised his nippy left-arm seam bowling to chip in with 14 wickets.

Built like a traction engine, with forearms like Popeye, Anderson is the kind of big-hitting middle-order batsmen who can make mincemeat of most totals. The 24-year-old has just 15 international T20 caps to his name, but significant experience in the shortest form of the game, including a spell with Mumbai Indians in the 2014 Indian Premier League. A true finisher, Somerset will be hoping he can do just that when he joins them midway through the T20 Blast.

World Cup 2015 record

Did you know? In January 2014, Anderson scored the fastest century in any format of international cricket when he reached 100 in 36 balls against West Indies. This has since been beaten by South Africa's AB de Villiers (31 balls against West Indies in January 2015).

Brendan Taylor (Zimbabwe)

Brendan Taylor
Brendan Taylor is making his debut in English domestic cricket in 2015

County: Nottinghamshire

Where/when could you see him? The whole 2015 season - first potential County Championship match is at Lord's v Middlesex (12-15 April).

"An excellent addition" was how Notts director of cricket Mick Newell described Kolpak signing Brendan Taylor on 11 March. That was made to look like something of an understatement when, three days later, he scored a superb 138 against holders India in Zimbabwe's final Pool B game and the 29-year-old's final ODI. He bowed out of international cricket as the tournament's fourth highest run-scorer, earning him the 12th man spot in the ICC team of the tournament.

What the right-handed wicketkeeper-batsman lacks in power, he makes up for in guile and Notts will be grateful for his ability and experience, particularly at the start of the season when they will be without Michael Lumb and Jake Libby. As an added bonus, Taylor is a Kolpak signing, allowing Notts to bring in Vernon Philander, Ben Hilfenhaus and Darren Sammy as overseas signings.

World Cup 2015 record

Did you know? Taylor attended Lilfordia School in Harare, which is run by the mother of former Zimbabwe Test player Alistair Campbell and has also produced two other international talents in Malcolm Waller and Trevor Madondo.

Glenn Maxwell (Australia)

Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell has previously represented both Hampshire and Surrey

County: Yorkshire

Where/when could you see him? T20 Blast - first potential match is at Headingley v Derbyshire (15 May).

The old adage goes that when Yorkshire are strong, England are strong. Well, it would also appear that when Australia are powerful, so are the White Rose. Australia's sheer strength in depth has enabled Yorkshire to pick up two world-class competitors who are currently unable to force their way into a baggy green cap in 2015 in Aaron Finch, and one of the undoubted stars of the World Cup, Glenn Maxwell.

You can take your pick as to which was the 26-year-old's best World Cup innings: his destruction of Steven Finn et al to score 66 against England, the 88 off 45 balls against Afghanistan or his 102 off 73 balls against Sri Lanka? All showcased his raw power and unique ability to improvise against even the most well-placed of deliveries. Oh, and he bowls some pretty useful off-spin as well. If he was English, Yorkshire would never see him again.

World Cup 2015 record

Did you know? Maxwell's confidence and tendency to play big, extravagant shots has earned him the nickname "The Big Show" amongst his Aussie team-mates.

Shahid Afridi (Pakistan)

Shahid Afridi
Afridi's previous English counties are Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Kent and Hampshire

County: Northamptonshire

Where/when could you see him? T20 Blast - first six matches - Durham v Durham (15 May), Birmingham v Birmingham (29 May), Worcestershire (5 June), Derbyshire (11 June), Leicester v Leicestershire (12 June), Headingley v Yorkshire (14 June).

If you want to set the tone for your T20 Blast campaign, you could do a lot worse than recruit Shahid Afridi for the first six matches. Northants are hoping 'Boom Boom' can give them the explosive start they require to their short-form campaign.

By his own high standards, the 35-year-old had a quiet World Cup, scoring just 116 runs and taking only two wickets for a Pakistan side that came to life as the pool stage progressed but bowed out meekly to Australia in the last eight. But, with 398 ODIs (during which he has scored 8,064 runs and taken 395 wickets) and 77 T20 internationals (1,142 runs, 81 wickets) his pedigree cannot be doubted.

A rarity in that he is a leg-spinning all-rounder, his variations of pace and spin have done for the very best batsmen to walk the planet, let alone Wantage Road.

World Cup 2015 record

Did you know? In 1996, Afridi hit the then-fastest ODI century of all time (37 balls v Sri Lanka) and he did it with a bat once belonging to Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar, which was given to him by Waqar Younis.