Ben McDermott joins Derbyshire on white-ball overseas contract

Ben McDermott will play for Derbyshire in both white-ball competitions Getty Images

Ben McDermott, the Australian wicketkeeper/batsman, has signed a white-ball deal that will see him become Derbyshire's overseas player in both the One-Day Cup and the T20 Blast next season.

McDermott, 24, has been in Australia's squads for their T20 series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan, and is likely to be available for the duration of both tournaments, though he could miss some games if named in the ODI squad to play England in July.

His move follows that of Sean Abbott, the New South Wales seamer who will represent Derbyshire as their other Blast overseas player, as well as the County Championship run-in.

The two deals will offer some optimism to Derbyshire fans, not least after budgetary constraints prevented the signing of a high-profile overseas player for most of last year's Blast. Logan van Beek, the New Zealand allrounder, was the club's primary overseas player, but after deals for Billy Stanlake and Kane Richardson fell through, they were left to pick one, rather than the maximum two overseas players for most of their T20 fixtures. Boyd Rankin's short-term deal later in the competition made him a second overseas option, but he played only five times.

But with three England Under-19 players - Alfie Gleadall (released), James Taylor (Surrey) and Hamidullah Qadri (Kent) - leaving at the end of the season, funds have opened up to allow those two signings, in addition to the recruit of South African seamer Michael Cohen.

McDermott has an impressive white-ball record - he has a healthy average of 54.64 in List A cricket and finished eighth in the Big Bash run charts last season - and gives Derbyshire an additional option with the gloves.

Dave Houghton, the club's head of cricket, said: "Ben comes to us with a good reputation and he is exactly what we are looking for in T20, a dynamic wicketkeeper-batsman who can bat throughout the order.

"In the 50-over competition his batting will be of great benefit and he gives us another option with the gloves. Ben's capable of taking the attack to the opposition as we look to build on white ball performances in 2019."

McDermott said: "This is a really exciting opportunity for me and I can't wait to test myself in new conditions with Derbyshire.

"The team did really well last season and I'm looking forward to helping them build. I love the short format stuff, but I've found good form in the 50-over competitions back home and I want to bring that to Derbyshire next summer."