Glen Chapple: Lancashire squad is well balanced after winter recruitment

Glen Chapple
Glen Chapple took 985 first-class wickets over a 25-year career as a Lancashire player

Lancashire head coach Glen Chapple says the club's signings this winter have given the squad a good mix of youth and experience ahead of the new season.

All-rounder Ryan McLaren, batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul and wicketkeeper Dane Vilas have all joined the county.

"We've got a great balance, we're going to be playing teams with at least seven home-grown players," Chapple, 43, told BBC Radio Lanacshire.

Lancashire face Essex in their opening County Championship match on 7 April.

After finishing seventh in Division One last year and narrowly escaping relegation, changes have been made at Old Trafford on and off the field.

Former captain Chapple was appointed head coach in January, replacing Ashley Giles, who returned to Warwickshire to become the Bears' new sport director.

Alviro Petersen's ban and Tom Smith's retirement due to injury also left positions to fill in the playing squad.

Chapple is encouraged by the arrival of South Africa international McLaren, 34, who took 32 wickets and scored 832 runs for Hampshire in 2016.

"He's someone that's got a lot of experience, to bat into the middle order and bowl maybe 20 overs a day," Chapple said.

"Ryan will provide stability, expertise and a good tactical awareness on the field."

Shivnarine Chanderpaul
Shivnarine Chanderpaul scored 11,867 runs, at an average of 51.37, in 164 Test matches for West Indies

West Indies legend Chanderpaul, 42, is returning to the Red Rose county after an eight-match spell in 2010 and will be tasked with following the precedent set by former batsmen Petersen and Ashwell Prince - who scored over 1,000 runs in the 2016 and 2015 seasons respectively.

"He'll be a great asset to us, both on and off the field," Chapple added.

"There's such an emphasis nowadays on one-day skills, but Shiv has that traditional mentality to be able to bat time. He will be a great help for us in those circumstances."

Chapple also confirmed that Vilas, 31, who has six Test caps for South Africa, will compete with 22-year-old Alex Davies for the wicket-keeper role in the side.

The new arrivals will mix with exciting young talents at Old Trafford like batsmen Liam Livingstone and England's Haseeb Hameed.

Fit-again James Anderson will also be building his sharpness with his county ahead of the England's Test series this summer against South Africa and West Indies.

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