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Lancashire sign SL legend as local player

County side land huge coup by adding Jayawardena to roster for upcoming T20 tournament

Sri Lankan batting great Mahela Jayawardena will play for Lancashire in this year's T20 domestic competition in England, the county team announced on Monday.

Jayawardena has played in T20 leagues around the world since retiring from international cricket in 2015 and has previously turned out in England for Sussex and Somerset.

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Lancashire have landed a significant coup with the signing of the veteran right-hander as a local player, owing to his securing of a spousal visa due to his wife being Danish; like England, a member of the European Union.

The 39-year-old has most recently turned out for Karachi Kings and Central Stags in the Pakistan and New Zealand domestic T20 competitions, having previously won the 2014 ICC World T20 with Sri Lanka and also appearing with Adelaide Strikers in the KFC Big Bash. 

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He will line up alongside fellow subcontinental star Junaid Khan of Pakistan, with the tournament running from July 7 to September 2.

"I'm very excited about joining Lancashire Lightning for the NatWest T20 Blast this summer," Jayawardena said in a Lancashire press release.

"Lancashire is a huge county with a fine history in the game.

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"There is a young group of players at the club and I'm really looking forward to the opportunity to working with them.

"I haven't won the NatWest T20 Blast in my career and it's a trophy I'd love to experience success in this summer with Lancashire Lightning."

Jayawardena has played 149 Tests, scoring nearly 12,000 runs at an average of just below 50, and has amassed more than 14,000 runs in white-ball cricket at international level.

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He will join up with Lancashire in July.

"Mahela is a truly world-class batsman who scores runs all around the wicket," said Lancashire head coach Glen Chapple.

"It will be a fantastic opportunity for our young players to learn off him and for our fans to watch one of the game's greats."

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