Glenn Maxwell has revealed his hunger to play an integral role in Australia’s one-day World Cup title defence and return to the Test side is behind his decision to play county cricket rather than put in for the upcoming Indian Premier League auction.
Lancashire announced Friday UK time that Maxwell had signed on to play all three formats of the United Kingdom’s county season ahead of Australia’s back-to-back World Cup and Ashes campaigns to be held on British soil.
The 30-year-old will play a maximum of five red-ball County Championship matches, alongside Queenslander Joe Burns, who has also penned a deal with Lancashire and looks set to be available for 10 first-class matches.
The decision represents a major financial sacrifice from the allrounder; purchased by Delhi Daredevils (now called Delhi Capitals) for $A1.8 million for the most recent IPL, Maxwell was released by the Ricky Ponting-coached franchise for next year’s tournament though could have fetched another hefty price in this month’s auction.
But Maxwell, who has played in the last seven IPL tournaments, said his focus is on representing Australia in England and winning games for his new county club.
“Coming over to England early next year will also help me acclimatise to conditions ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup, which I am hugely excited about,” Maxwell said.
“I still have aspirations to play Test cricket for Australia, so I felt it was important that I play some first-class cricket whilst I am over in England.
“The County Championship is a hugely competitive competition and I’m looking forward to being part of Lancashire’s red ball side next year.”
Burns, too, is excited about the prospect of tuning up in England ahead of the Ashes, with the 29-year-old last playing Test cricket in South Africa in April, before missing out on the squad for the UAE tour and the current home series against India.
“Lancashire is a huge county with a fine history in the game, and I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to play for the Red Rose next year,” he said in a statement on the club website.
“I’m determined to put in some match-winning contributions for the side and help Lancashire push for promotion.”
Maxwell could glean an insight into the methods of England swing wizard Jimmy Anderson, a Lancashire stalwart who often turns out for his county in the early stages of the northern summer given he’s become a Test specialist in recent years.
Limited-overs blaster Jos Buttler and Test opener Keaton Jennings also play for the club, as well as Tasmanian allrounder James Faulkner for the T20 competition.