Gary Keedy believes his forthcoming spell of Twenty20 cricket in the Bangladesh Premier League will benefit Lancashire come the start of the English season in April.
The left-arm spinner, 37, has been picked up by the Sylhet Royals, a franchise who are likely to be coached by his former Red Rose team-mate Stuart Law, the current head coach of the Bangladesh national team.
Keedy was selected for US$ 25,000 in Thursday's auction, and one of his team-mates will be the Somerset all-rounder Peter Trego. The competition runs from February 9 to 29 involving six teams.
Keedy spent part of last year's pre-season in the United Arab Emirates playing for the MCC in Twenty20 and four-day cricket, a trip which preceded a summer yielding 85 wickets in all forms of the game for his county.
"I could have stayed here and bowled in the Indoor nets or go to Bangladesh and play in a top competition. It was an easy decision," said the one-time England Lion.
"Whenever I have gone away to play overseas at this time of year, it has always benefited me when the season here starts."
Keedy will line up against the likes of Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard and Shahid Afridi in the inaugural campaign.
"It was a bit of a surprise," he said of being bought by the Royals. "But it is an amazing opportunity for me. It's nice to be recognised for how I have played over the last few years with Lancashire."
Red Rose coach Peter Moores is also pleased for the veteran spinner.
He added: "I’m really pleased for him because it will be a great opportunity. Some of these competitions aren’t at the right time, but this one is because it’s in the middle of the winter and it’s two to two and a half weeks.
"It will break up his winter, it’s competitive cricket, yet he still gets back before we go to Abu Dhabi (March 19). Playing with different players from different clubs in a different country, you can only learn. Gary’s statistical record will stand him in good stead.”
Former Lancashire overseas players Muttiah Muralitharan, Brad Hodge, Sanath Jayasuriya and Shivnarine Chanderpaul will all play in the Bangladesh Premier League.
Photo (c) Simon Pendrigh
Article (c) Lancashire CCC Ltd