Will Williams: Lancashire sign New Zealander as non-overseas player until 2025

Will Williams has so far taken seven wickets in two County Championship matches for Lancashire
Will Williams has so far taken seven wickets in two County Championship matches for Lancashire

Lancashire have completed the signing of fast bowler Will Williams on a three-and-a-half-year contract.

The 29-year-old New Zealander was initially signed on a short-term deal on 11 June as Lancashire coped with international selection and injuries.

But Williams has now signed on a deal until 2025, and will no longer be considered an overseas signing as he has a British passport.

He will be available for selection across all three formats.

That could help him figure in Friday's T20 Blast quarter-final at home to Essex, when the Red Rose expect to be without five players - Jos Buttler, Liam Livingstone, Phil Salt, Matt Parkinson and Richard Gleeson, who have all been selected for England T20 duty.

"Will's situation has been on our radar for quite some time," said director of cricket Mark Chilton.

"He was a player we identified last winter as a possible overseas option before learning that Will also holds a British passport and was considering the option of playing in the UK as a local player.

"Due to injuries and international selection, we required a seamer at short notice for last month's County Championship matches and following Will's performances in those matches, and through conversations with him since, we have taken the decision to turn his short-term overseas contract into a local player contract.

Williams added: "It was a big life decision to use my British heritage to take up local player status and give up my ability to play back in New Zealand.

"However, I felt this was an incredible opportunity to learn and grow my game."

Williams the fourth highest wicket-taker in last season's Plunkett Shield in New Zealand, with 25 dismissals for Canterbury at an average of 21.52 - and has so far taken seven wickets in two County Championship matches for Lancashire, including match figures of 6-112 on debut in the win over reigning champions Warwickshire.

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