Yorkshire have snapped up big-hitting Aussie Aaron Finch for a portion of the forthcoming season.
Finch has been one of the tormentors in chief of England in one-day cricket over the last two series, most notably last year at the Rose Bowl when he smacked an international-best 156 from 63 balls.
He is expected to fetch a high price at today’s Indian Premier League auction but Yorkshire have got him for a cut-price bargain.
Yorkshire’s director of professional cricket Martyn Moxon says the signing of Finch is not “a budget-buster”.
Finch will join up with the squad after the Indian Premier League finishes in May.
There is no certain end date to his deal, with his primary reason for being signed to provide cover for Kane Williamson, who is set to tour the West Indies with New Zealand this summer. There could even be some overlap whereby both overseas players are representing Yorkshire.
Finch, 27, is to play all forms of cricket in his spell with Yorkshire, but it is in Twenty20 where his is expected to be make the biggest impact.
The Melbourne Renegades captain is rated as one of the three best Twenty20 players in world cricket.
He said: “It is a great honour to be joining Yorkshire.
“This is one of the biggest cricket clubs in the world with a history and tradition second to none.
“I’ve heard so much about the place and can’t wait to join up with Jason Gillespie and the rest of the squad in May.
“When I heard Yorkshire were interested in signing me I had no hesitation. I had a good chat with Darren Lehmann and he recommended that I join the club.
“He cannot speak highly enough of the place and Yorkshire’s loyal supporters.
“I hope to play in all formats whilst I’m at the club and even though the T20 season will be very exciting, I’m looking forward to testing myself in red ball cricket too.
“It’s important for my cricket development to play in English conditions and to help Yorkshire be a force in all forms of the game will be a good challenge for me.”
The signing is a significant one by Yorkshire, who are hoping to make a big impact in limited-overs cricket this year after a sub-standard showing in 2013.
Depending on who he signs for today and how far that team goes in the IPL, Yorkshire hope to have Finch in club colours as early as Friday, May 16, when Yorkshire open their NatWest T20 Blast campaign against the Northamptonshire Steelbacks at Headingley.
Moxon said: “It’s a very exciting signing for us.
“His statistics show what an explosive player he is, particularly for T20, and he’s going to be a great addition to the squad.
“I don’t want to go into figures but he’s not a budget buster. I’m sure Aaron could have got more elsewhere but that’s the beauty of this deal. He’s shown that he’s keen to play for Yorkshire. We’ve only got a certain amount of money we can spend and he’s happy to come for that. That shows he’s keen to play for Yorkshire and he’s not just here for the money.
“It shows the Yorkshire name is as strong as ever.”