Second spell for Khawaja

Derbyshire CCC. Usman Khawaja
Derbyshire CCC. Usman Khawaja

Usman Khawaja has been named as Derbyshire’s second overseas player for the 2012 season.

The Australian international will jet to the UK ahead of the Friends Life t20 opener versus Lancashire Lightning on Thursday, June 14, before remaining with the club for the remainder of the season.

Khawaja enjoyed a two-month spell at the County Ground during the 2011 season, averaging 39.87 from four first-class outings including a memorable century in his final appearance versus Kent.

The 25-year-old also guided the Falcons to victory with an assured unbeaten 89 in the Clydesdale Bank 40 match against Worcestershire Royals.

Khawaja has six Test caps for Australia and boasts a prolific record in Australian Sheffield Shield cricket with 2,087 runs, in 26 matches, at an average of 53.51.

Derbyshire’s overseas position will be occupied by New Zealand international Martin Guptill prior to Khawaja’s arrival.

Head coach Karl Krikken said: “Usman is a talented and prolific batsman with an excellent future. We are delighted to bring him back to the County Ground.

“We were hugely impressed with Usman during his previous spell with the Club and the 2012 season will give him the opportunity of settling into a longer spell and hopefully scoring plenty of runs.”

Chairman Chris Grant added: “It’s good to have our overseas berth sorted for the coming season and I’m excited by the prospect of both Martin and Usman returning to the Club.

“They will be better players from the experience of last season and we know what we are getting in terms of their attitude, professionalism and contribution to the squad.

“In addition, Karl, Keith Loring and I are continuing to work hard to recruit the services of a proven match changer for the Friends Life t20 campaign.”