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Williamson tempted by Tykes take two

By Callum Dent

Kane Williamson has revealed the opportunity to return to Yorkshire was too good to turn down.

The New Zealander, who has represented the Black Caps in 31 Tests, 54 one-day internationals and 17 Twenty20s, had a taste of what life was like at Headingley last season after signing a short-term deal.

With injuries and international call-ups hampering the White Rose's quest for LV= County Championship glory, the 23-year-old former Gloucestershire batsman filled the void and impressed by scoring 403 runs in five first-class matches at an average of 50.

Williamson enjoyed his brief stay with the Tykes so much that he jumped at the chance to rejoin the county this term. 

Speaking at Yorkshire's annual media day, he said: "I was very quick to sign on.

"There are a lot of things you want to consider, especially with the big international calendar, but to get the opportunity to come back here and play with this side was fantastic.

"I really enjoyed my time here last year with the people in the team and the management. It was brilliant. To get the opportunity was great. From a personal perspective, county cricket is good for your cricket.

Kane Williamson impressed during his spell with Yorkshire last season, averaging 50 with the bat amid an LV= County Championship title bid

"Whether you are doing really well or wanting to do really well, you want those experiences."

Williamson arrives at Yorkshire for his second spell as a more accomplished player having experienced an outstanding season back in his homeland.

After showing his class with a Test hundred against India, Williamson became only the fourth Kiwi to compile half-centuries in five consecutive one-day internationals, and also proved his ability in the sprint form of the game at the World Twenty20.

However, he refuses to rest on his laurels and has targeted further improvements.

He said: "It's nice to be here and set up base. Whenever you play, you want to contribute as much as you can to the team.  

"I want to keep improving my performances, which will be my focus. I will be looking to build on last year's performances, hopefully scoring more and more. I don't know if you are ever satisfied entirely.

"I would have liked to have scored more, but it could have been worse. I really enjoyed last year and it was nice to contribute.

"We played some really good cricket and I will be looking to contribute more and more as the season goes on."

Yorkshire narrowly missed the opportunity to claim their first championship title since 2001 last season, finishing second to Durham, while their limited-overs form failed to live up to expectations.

Williamson is back at Headingley having impressed across all formats at international level with New Zealand this winter

However, Williamson believes Jason Gillespie's squad are more than capable of winning a trophy, something they have not done since 2005.  

"We have got some outstanding cricketers, we all know that," he said.

"If we keep our feet on the ground and go steady, then I am sure we will put together consistent performances.

"Each and every one of us will be looking to contribute as much as we can throughout the season and if a handful of us come off consistently, then that will go a long way to winning cricket matches.

"Playing here at Yorkshire, in what is a fantastic side with a lot of experience and a lot of youth, all very good cricketers, we will all be feeling similar pressure to want to contribute to team performances.

"Ultimately, I do feel part of the team and a team that wants to be successful. We certainly have that opportunity to be successful if we play well."

Williamson has been named in Yorkshire's squad to face Northamptonshire in a three-day friendly at Wantage Road, starting today, ahead of their championship opener at Somerset from Sunday.

Having arrived in Leeds following the World T20 in Bangladesh, he admits it may take a little time to get used to facing the red ball again, adding: "It is a challenge. It's probably a mental shift that you consciously need to make."

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