Handscomb to captain Leicestershire's T20 side despite recent BBL snubs

Peter Handscomb settled Leicestershire's chase Getty Images

Peter Handscomb will captain Leicestershire in the T20 Blast this season, with director of cricket Claude Henderson saying he has "all the necessary qualities" despite a lack of recent exposure to the format.

Handscomb has only made six appearances across the last two seasons of Australia's Big Bash League, and did not have a contract last year until Melbourne Stars called him in as a last-minute replacement following a sickening injury to their first-choice wicketkeeper Sam Harper.

But Leicestershire are banking on Handscomb's wider experience as they aim to qualify for T20 Finals Day for the first time since 2011, when they won their third T20 title. "I'm very excited to lead this team," Handscomb said. "The balance of the side looks good and hopefully we can perform to the standards we've set ourselves."

Handscomb initially signed for Leicestershire for six County Championship fixtures last year but had his deal extended and ended up playing five times in the Blast, including three as captain. He signed a two-year extension to cover 2024 and 2025 at the end of last season and is their leading Championship run-scorer this season, with a century and three fifties in five innings.

Leicestershire won the Metro Bank Cup last year and hope their 50-over form will translate to the T20 Blast. "We showed in the One Day Cup last year what we can do in white-ball cricket, so it's an exciting prospect to try and replicate that in the T20s this year," Handscomb said. "We want to entertain and play a fun brand of cricket."

Henderson said: "Pete holds all the necessary qualities we are looking for in a captain. Not only does he possess extensive leadership experience, but he is also an incredibly calm head on the field and a highly respected voice in the changing room."

Leicestershire finished bottom of the North Group last summer with two wins from 14 games, at a time when chief executive Sean Jarvis was forced to deny the club was in crisis following the sudden departure of coach Paul Nixon.

They have added Ben Mike, Liam Trevaskis, Scott Currie and Ben Cox to their squad in the off-season and will also welcome Wiaan Mulder back to the club as their other overseas player, alongside Handscomb. Rehan Ahmed should be available throughout after he was left out of England's T20 World Cup squad.

Leicestershire's first Blast fixture is against Yorkshire on May 31. The tournament's group stage runs until July 19, with the quarter-finals and Finals Day due to take place in September.