Martin Guptill is looking forward to being reunited out in the middle with one of his former flatmates when Worcestershire Rapids launch their Vitality Blast campaign against Lancashire Lightning at Emirates Old Trafford on Thursday.

Guptill was a Derbyshire Falcons player when he and the Rapids hard-hitting batsman Ross Whiteley shared an apartment one summer.

The New Zealand opener never had many chances to bat in tandem with Whiteley but quickly realised how destructive a batsman he could be on his day.

That power has blossomed with the Rapids and last summer Whiteley became the first English player in ANY format of the game to hit six sixes in an over in a Blast match against Yorkshire at Headingley.

It led to a winter of playing T20 cricket in the Bangladesh Premier League and Pakistan Super League in addition to the inaugural T10 competition in Sharjah.

Now the likes of Guptill, Whiteley, Rapids official Blast captain Moeen Ali, Callum Ferguson, Travis Head and Joe Clarke will all be available at various stages and present a powerful batting combination.

Guptill said: “I lived with Ross in 2012 when I played for Derbyshire for a second season. He was my flatmate.

“We’ve had a few good stories that we’ve been reminiscing about and he is a good bloke.

“I only played T20 for Derbyshire in the one year and we batted together at the crease only once but it went quite well and we had a bit of fun.

“It was quite a good partnership and hopefully I can stay in long enough and bat with him again when he comes in further down the order.

“He is one of the cleanest strikers of a ball I’ve seen.

“Luckily for us at home (in New Zealand) we occasionally get a few games from the Blast on the TV when we wake up and I’ve seen him take a few attacks apart.

“Hopefully he can do it quite consistently during the Blast this year.”

Guptill added: “Cricket is a tough game and T20 is one of those games where, if you lose a critical moment, the day is gone.

“It’s all about winning those key moments and making sure you come out on top at the end of the day but we’ve got a really good squad.”

Guptill is available for the first eight of the Rapids 14 Blast fixtures before heading off to play in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

He is an in-demand player in all the top T20 competitions around the world given the destructive nature of his batting.

Guptill said: “One of the best things about doing all these things is that you get to learn other cultures.

“For example, the IPL is completely different to the CPL which is completely different to the Blast here in England.

“You get to experience a whole lot of different cultures. You make some good friends that you may not otherwise have made if you didn’t play cricket.”