DURHAM have signed Australian international all-rounder Ashton Turner for the whole of this summer’s Vitality Blast T20 campaign.

A proven leader and run scorer with Perth Scorchers in the BBL, Turner will lead Durham out as captain in this year's Vitality Blast.

He has performed a similar captaincy role in his native Australia to positive effect, most recently leading the Scorchers to their fourth BBL title.

A tall, powerful right-hander, Turner is a regular in the top four with the Scorchers where has scored over 1,600 runs since making his debut against Melbourne Renegades in 2013.

He has played both formats of white-ball cricket for Australia, with his batting displays including an unbeaten 84 from 43 balls against India in just his second game for the national side.

He has gone on to play 149 T20 games, and had a spell with Rajasthan Royals in the IPL in 2019. He has scored almost 2,000 runs in the shortest format of the game, and in addition to his powerful top-order batting, he has taken 24 T20 wickets with a best of 2-3 in domestic T20 and 2-12 for Australia.

A right-arm off-break bowler, his spin will add another string to Durham’s bow as they look to claim a maiden T20 title this season.

Turner said: “The Blast is a competition that I’ve watched with a keen interest from afar and I’m really excited to be able to take part in it this summer.

“I’m excited to achieve some success with the club and no doubt we will have some fun along the way. I look forward to meeting everyone very soon.”

Durham director of cricket, Marcus North, added: “We’re extremely pleased to welcome Ashton to Durham this summer to lead us out in the Vitality Blast.

“In addition to his powerful batting performances, Ash is a proven leader, having captained the Scorchers and Western Australia to multiple championships in recent years and will be a great addition to Durham. I look forward to Ashton joining up with the squad in May.”

Meanwhile, Somerset and England batter Tom Banton faces up to a month on the sidelines after breaking his finger.

Banton remains a relatively new figure on the international scene having played 14 T20 and six one-day internationals since he burst on to the scene with a prolific 2019 season.

The Somerset opener made his England debut in November of that year, and was included on the most recent tour of the West Indies this winter.