D’Arcy Short and Kane Richardson, the leading run-scorer and wicket-taker in this year’s Big Bash League, will be plying their trade in the Vitality Blast this summer after signing T20 deals with Durham and Derbyshire respectively.
Short, 28, who made his ODI debut against England at Cardiff last year, has featured prominently in Australia’s recent white-ball campaigns, including an innings of 76 from 44 balls to help his side to the highest T20I run-chase of 244 against New Zealand last year.
He was named Player of the Tournament in the BBL for the second year running, after amassing 637 runs for Hobart Hurricanes, including six half centuries and a top score of 96 not out. He also chipped in with 10 wickets with his legspin.
Richardson, meanwhile, contributed 24 wickets at an average of 17.70 and a strike rate of 13.70, to help Melbourne Renegades to the BBL title, beating their city rivals, Stars, in the final.
He has also seen success in the Indian Premier League, taking 18 wickets across three campaigns, at a combined average of 24.60.
“I’ve been lucky to play in T20 tournaments around the world, but this will be my first experience of the Vitality Blast and I’m looking forward to getting going,” said Richardson.
“It’s a competitive tournament and I know a few of the guys who we’ll be facing and they all say how great the crowds are under the lights on the T20 nights in England.
“Derbyshire are an ambitious club who have been progressing well in the last few seasons, so hopefully I can contribute towards some wins and get Derbyshire towards the knockout stages.”
Up at the Riverside, Short will link up with his fellow Australian Cameron Bancroft, who has agreed a deal to join Durham for the entire 2019 season after serving a nine-month ban for ball-tampering last year.
“I can’t wait to get over to Durham and play some cricket; playing in England is something that I have wanted to do for a while and I’m very excited to get started,” Short said.
“It’s very much a new experience for me and a challenge to play on some different grounds, wickets, pitches and against some new bowlers.
“It’s nice to have Bangers [Cameron Bancroft] who I already know from the Australia set-up and Northy [Marcus North] at Durham, as it’s always a help to have some extra support when you arrive at a new place. Both of them were a big factor in me choosing to join up with Durham Cricket this summer.
“It didn’t take too much persuasion for me to decide to spend my summer in the North East and I’m looking forward to meeting the lads.”
North, Durham Cricket’s Director of Cricket, added: “It’s exciting for everyone here at Durham to announce the arrival of D’Arcy Short for Vitality Blast this season.
“He’s a great player to have around the dressing room and it offers the younger players a great opportunity to observe one of the finest T20 batsmen in world cricket.”