LANCASHIRE have reinforced their batting unit ahead of the new cricket season with the double signing of Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Dane Vilas.

West Indian batsman Chanderpaul, 42, and South African wicketkeeper-batsman Vilas, 31, will help fill the void left by the recently departed Ashwell Prince and the suspended Alviro Petersen, while all-rounder Tom Smith has retired early due to a series of injury problems. Petersen was given a two-year ban by Cricket South Africa in December for attempting to cover up a match-fixing scandal.

Head coach Glen Chapple said: "We're delighted to bring two experienced international batsmen into the club ahead of the new season. Shivnarine and Dane will form an important part of our side in 2017 and we look forward to welcoming them to Emirates Old Trafford."

Chanderpaul returns to Lancashire having already played for the Red Rose during the 2010 season, hitting two centuries and making five half-centuries in eight first-class matches.

Chapple said: "We're thrilled to be able to bring Shivnarine back to Lancashire. He knows what it takes to be successful and there is no doubt that he will have a positive effect on our squad."

Johannesburg-born Vilas appeared as a late replacement for Quinton de Kock in the Test series against England in 2016.

"Signing a player of Dane's undoubted calibre and experience is a great boost as we continue our preparations ahead of the new season," said Chapple.

"He has an excellent record in first-class cricket and is a very good wicketkeeper."

Chanderpaul has agreed a one-year non-overseas contract while Vilas has committed for two years.