MARTYN MOXON says Kane Williamson will prove a “perfect fit” for Yorkshire after the New Zealand captain agreed to return to Headingley for a fourth spell.
The 27-year-old world No 3 batsman will effectively be around for most of the second half of Yorkshire’s 2018 campaign, playing 11 T20 Blast matches and four County Championship fixtures.
His first match for the club will be the Vikings’ 20-over trip to the Emirates Riverside to face Durham on Friday, July 13 while, in the Championship, he will play in a Roses fixture against Lancashire on July 22, as well as against Worcestershire at Scarborough before facing Somerset at Headingley and finishing off at Trent Bridge against Nottinghamshire in early September.
The announcement of Williamson’s signing came on the same day that five of the club’s brightest young talents pledged their long-term futures to the club – Harry Brook, Ben Coad, Matthew Fisher, Jack Leaning and Matthew Waite all signing new deals.
A number of those youngsters will no doubt line-up alongside Williamson at some point next summer as Yorkshire strive to put a generally disappointing 2017 campaign, the first under head coach Andrew Gale, behind them.
Key to any chance of success for counties these days – as well as developing young players from within – is bringing in the right talent from abroad.
Last season saw Australia’s Peter Handscomb take that role at Headingley for most of the campaign, although the 26-year-old – currently involved in the Ashes Test series against England – enjoyed a mixed time of it.
With Williamson’s return, Yorkshire know what they are getting – a world-class batsman who excels in all three formats of the game, currently averaging 50.66 in Test cricket and with an overall first-class average of 48.48. He also averages over 46 in one-day internationals for the Black Caps, while his T20 record is 34.5.
Yorkshire’s director of cricket Moxon said sealing Williamson’s return for almost two months of the 2018 season – subject to paperwork being finalised – was a massive boost for the club.
“Kane’s abilities are there for all to see and he has consistently performed well at the highest level for a significant period of time,” said Moxon.
He’s a cool character and a calm, reassuring influence on and off the field. He is a perfect fit for our dressing room at this moment in time.Yorkshire’s Martyn Moxon
“He’s a cool character and a calm, reassuring influence on and off the field. He is a perfect fit for our dressing room at this moment in time.
“He’s a very experienced and highly-skilled individual and, having spent periods of time with us in the past, Kane knows the club and the players well and will be able to slot straight in to our playing group. His career has continued to go from strength to strength and he remains one of the best batsmen in the world.”
Williamson said that he was delighted to be returning to the club. “I’ve enjoyed some of my happiest cricketing moments with Yorkshire and I hope I can help improve the team both on and off the field,” he said.