Yorkshire have announced the capture of Kane Williamson as an overseas batsman for 2018, subject to paperwork being finalised.
Williamson, who currently captains New Zealand and bats at the top of the order across all three formats, will be available to play 11 T20 Blast matches and four Specsavers County Championship fixtures. His first match will be the Vikings’ trip to the Emirates Riverside to face Durham on Friday July 13. In the Championship, Williamson will play in a Roses fixture against Lancashire (Jul 22), as well as Worcestershire at Scarborough, Somerset at Emerald Headingley Stadium, while his final match will be at Trent Bridge against Nottinghamshire (Sep 4).
The Tauranga-born 27-year-old, who re-joins the White Rose for a fourth stint, is currently the number three batsman in the world and averages 50.66 in Test cricket. His First-Class average is 48.48, having scored 9600 runs across 125 matches.
Director of Cricket Martyn Moxon said: “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. 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. Hopefully he gives us the boost we need ahead of the 2018 campaign.”
The classy right-hander helped Yorkshire to their first of two successive County Championships by scoring 629 runs at an average of 57 in 2014. Williamson’s most prolific form with the Club has been in the Championship with a haul of 1,074 runs at an average of 46.7.
Williamson, who is currently leading the Black Caps in the Second Test against West Indies in Hamilton, told yorkshireccc.com: “I’m really excited to be linking up with Yorkshire once again. I thoroughly enjoyed my previous spells with the Club and I’m very much looking forward to contributing to a winning Yorkshire side.
“I’ve enjoyed some of my happiest cricketing moments with the county and I hope I can help improve the team both on and off the field. There have been a few changes since I was last involved but I still know most of the characters in the dressing room and, with Andrew Gale as coach, I’m sure that the winning culture remains as strong as ever.
“I’m sure more success is just around the corner and hopefully I can play a part in that.”