Steven Croft says Jos Buttler would boost Lancashire if he is not picked for England

Steven Croft
Steven Croft was named Lancashire captain after Tom Smith stepped down in November

Lancashire captain Steven Croft says having Jos Buttler back would benefit the side if he is not selected for England's summer Tests.

The 25-year-old hit the winning runs to send England through to Sunday's World Twenty20 final but was dropped for the final Test against Pakistan in October.

"He'll be a bonus but it would be a shame for him not to get in the England side," Croft told BBC Radio Manchester.

"He had a few cameos here last year and it was great. He's a match-winner."

Croft added: "He's probably not got the record that he wanted but he's one of those X Factor players who can take the game away from you.

"It would be great to get back in the Test side but if not we will obviously benefit from getting him back."

Following Ashwell Prince's retirement at the end of last season, Lancashire have a void in their batting line-up to fill.

"First and foremost the youngsters and the local lads are going to have to put their hands up. We've kept hold of Alviro Petersen, who is another quality Test player from South Africa," Croft said.

"By his terms he was probably a little bit down on runs last year but hopefully if he scores some of the runs Ashwell got then that will be a great help."

Lancashire, who this week announced an operating profit of £763,000, begin their first season back in Division One against Nottinghamshire on 17 April and could have England seamer Jimmy Anderson available.

"Jimmy is going to be here for two or three games at the start of the season," said Croft.

"Having the best spin attack in the country is matched by having Kyle Jarvis, Neil Wagner available too."