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Lancashire sign England wicketkeeper Buttler

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Jos Buttler said he was focused on developing his skills as a wicketkeeper-batsman at Lancashire © PA Photos
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Lancashire have signed England's limited-overs wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler. The move had been widely expected after Buttler announced his decision to leave Somerset to pursue more opportunities as a keeper last week.

Although he has established himself for England in ODI and T20 cricket, his progress with the gloves had been hindered by the presence of his international predecessor, Craig Kieswetter, at Somerset. The club were unwilling to guarantee Buttler the role of first-choice wicketkeeper in all formats and he was faced with a choice of playing as a specialist batsman or moving away from the county where he came through the ranks.

The move will also give Buttler the chance to work with former England coach, Peter Moores, who was responsible for guiding Matt Prior, England's Test wicketkeeper, in the early stages of his career at Sussex.

Buttler said he was keen to develop his skills as a wicketkeeper batsman at Lancashire, who released Gareth Cross last week. "They have a strong squad and are very ambitious to build on this season's achievement," Buttler said. "The club has an exceptional coaching staff which will help me to continue to develop as a keeper-batsman."

Buttler came up through the Somerset academy system and made his first-class debut in 2009 against Lancashire. In 80 List A games, he has scored 2296 runs at an average of 51.02 and taken 74 catches. In first-class cricket, he has 2031 runs at 31.73 and has taken 82 catches.

He made his ODI debut in February 2012 and has since played 19 games, scoring 298 runs and taking 30 catches and one stumping. He scored two eye-catching half-centuries in the recently completed one-day series against Australia, confirming his potential as an international batsman. In 25 T20 internationals, Buttler has scored 286 runs, since making his debut in August 2011.

"It is great news Jos will be joining us and he will become part of a highly competitive squad," Moores said. "His style of cricket will add value to the team in all formats of the game and his potential as a player is very exciting."

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