Yorkshire County Cricket Club have completed their overseas recruitment drive for 2015 with the re-signing of New Zealand international Kane Williamson for a third term.
Williamson, who has spent the past two seasons with the White Rose county and is currently performing well for the Black Caps in the ICC World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, will join the Club at the back end of the season after New Zealand’s Limited-overs tour of Zimbabwe and South Africa, which is due to end early September.
At this stage, Williamson is set to figure in Yorkshire’s final three LV= County Championship matches.
The 24-year-old enjoyed a remarkable 2014 with the bat, both in domestic and international cricket. Not only did he help Yorkshire to their first LV= County Championship title since 2001, scoring 629 Championship runs at an average of 57, he scored over 900 Test runs at an average of 61.
Williamson’s stunning knock of 242 not out, during which he shared a record partnership for the sixth wicket with BJ Watling against Sri Lanka in January, helped record a 2-0 series victory for the Kiwis and confirm his place as one of the most in-form batsmen in world cricket.
“I’m delighted to be returning to Yorkshire for my third spell,” said Williamson.
“I have enjoyed my time over the last couple of years and to be given the opportunity to return to the Club is great. There is a brilliant culture at Yorkshire and it is a real privilege to be part of it.
“There is a good vibe around the place and you do get a sense we are progressing nicely. The title victory from last season was a major achievement.
“After speaking to the players, I know they are keen to get off to a positive start and really make a strong defence of the Championship.
“Hopefully when I arrive, at the back end of the season, I can contribute to team performances as much as possible and help in our efforts to defend the Championship.
“There is a lot of cricket to be played with New Zealand beforehand, but I look forward to joining Yorkshire soon.”
Yorkshire’s Director of Cricket Martyn Moxon is pleased to secure the services of the Tauranga born classy right-hander, which completes the Club’s recruitment drive for the new campaign following the signings of Australian internationals Aaron Finch, Glenn Maxwell and Pakistan top-order batsman Younus Khan.
“It is satisfying that we now have full coverage of world-class overseas players for the forthcoming season,” said Moxon.
“Re-signing Kane at the back end of the campaign is the final jigsaw in the piece. Kane was eager to come back and we are grateful to New Zealand Cricket for giving him the time to play for us in what will be a busy summer of international cricket.
“He is such a fantastic talent and his presence in the dressing room has been vital in our success over recent times.
“Kane is already regarded as one of the best top-order batsmen in the world and his dominance both domestically and internationally has been the catalyst to Yorkshire’s progression in county cricket and New Zealand’s on the international stage.
“He will join us in the last month of the season. That works well for us as Aaron Finch, who is with us for most of the season, will be joining up with Australia for their One-day series against England at the end of August.”
Williamson has been pivotal in New Zealand’s perfect start to the World Cup in the southern hemisphere with two victories from their opening matches against Sri Lanka and Scotland respectively.
Next up for the Black Caps is England on Friday in Wellington, where Williamson is likely to come up against his Yorkshire teammates Gary Ballance and Joe Root.