JAMES Faulkner will return to Emirates Old Trafford for a fourth season in 2020 after signing a Vitality Blast contract with Lancashire Lightning.


Faulkner played a pivotal role in his first spell, the Blast-winning season in 2015, and has since featured for the Red Rose in 2018 and 2019.


In total, he has played 40 T20 matches for Lancashire, taking 56 wickets at an average of 17.53 and notching 461 runs, with a high score of 73.


A veteran of over 90 white ball internationals for Australia, the 29-year-old was instrumental in the Club’s maiden T20 title win back in 2015, finishing as the joint-leading wicket-taker in the competition, alongside team mate Stephen Parry.


In recognition of his contribution to Lancashire, Faulkner, who has also played in the IPL and Big Bash since 2011, was awarded his county cap before the Roses fixture against Yorkshire at Emirates Old Trafford last season.


Lancashire Director of Cricket, Paul Allott, said: “James is a fantastic, well-rounded cricketer of significant experience and we are delighted to welcome him back to Emirates Old Trafford for a fourth season in 2020.


“He is the very definition of an all-rounder. He can bowl in any situation, which he has done successfully for us at both the beginning and back end of an innings, and is still a powerful batsman, not to mention his outstanding ability in the field too.


“His enthusiasm in representing the Red Rose is evident and he has established himself as a key figure in our T20 side. He is a proven winner and a great role model to the younger players.”


Faulkner said: “I am thrilled to be returning to Emirates Old Trafford for next season’s Vitality Blast. It feels like a home away from home for me and I cannot wait to get started again in May.


“We were unlucky not to progress past the quarter-finals last year and we are all determined to put that right in 2020. We will be going all out to repeat the success of 2015, which remains one of the proudest memories in my cricketing career.

“Emirates Old Trafford is an amazing place to play cricket and I can’t wait to reunite with the squad next summer. I’m determined to win the Vitality Blast trophy back for the Club.”