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Williamson to bolster Yorkshire during run-in

Yorkshire have signed New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson for the last five games of the LV= County Championship season.

The 23-year-old will strengthen the White Rose's top order for the final stages of their title battle after the in-form Gary Ballance joined their international contingent courtesy of his selection for England Lions.

With Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Tim Bresnan on senior England duty and Phil Jaques still on the way back from injury, the Tykes were in need of reinforcements and Williamson will arrive in time for the August 21 clash with Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

Head coach Jason Gillespie said: "We have moved swiftly to strengthen the side going into the final five matches of the season. Once we knew that Gary was unavailable, because of his international call-up, we made a conscious effort to bring in a proven international batsman to help bolster the squad.

"It is the right thing to do and he is a quality player with a proven first-class record. It is imperative that we give ourselves every chance of bolstering the squad for the final run-in.

"Kane will be with us until the end of the season and will be available for selection in our five remaining championship fixtures."

Williamson averages 31.47 in his 25 Tests, with three hundreds and eight fifties, and 40.40 in first-class cricket. He played 17 championship games for Gloucestershire in 2011 and 2012, averaging 39.90 with three tons and six half-centuries.

He said: "Once I knew Yorkshire were in for me, I jumped at the chance of being part of their plans in the final part of season.

"It is a club steeped in history and, with some important cricket still to be played this season, I hope I can make a difference and help Yorkshire realise its dream of winning the championship crown in its 150th anniversary year.

"Outside the international arena, the County Championship is regarded as a tough uncompromising competition. To play for Yorkshire will enhance my game and give me every opportunity to score some runs as I get ready for the summer back home in New Zealand."

Yorkshire lead Division One on 158 points, 10 ahead of Sussex and 14 clear of Middlesex. Fourth-placed Durham are 25.5 points behind with a game in hand.

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