YORKSHIRE’S new signing Aaron Finch says his spell as the overseas pro with Clifton Alliance in 2009 was the most fun he has ever had playing cricket.
The powerful Australian batsman, rated the world’s number one T20 batsman, has arrived at Headingley ahead of his debut in Friday’s NatWest T20 Blast clash with Derbyshire. He will then make his LV= County Championship bow in Saturday’s clash with Northamptonshire at Wantage Road.
The 27-year-old Victorian is effectively a replacement overseas for New Zealander Kane Williamson, who is on international duty from the end of this week until early July. But both could play together in the T20 Blast when Williamson returns.
Finch also confirmed that he turned down approaches from other counties to play T20 cricket alone in favour of signing for Yorkshire, who offered him the opportunity to play four-day cricket because his main career goal is to play Test cricket for Australia.
“I played over in York for Clifton Alliance, and it was my only club experience over here, although I’ve been on a few month-long tours where I’ve travelled around,” he said.
“But that was the most fun I’ve ever had playing cricket.
It was quality. I was about 21 at the time, and that was a stepping stone for my career. On the back of that, I went back to Australia and broke into the Victoria side and played quite well in all forms on the back of that.”
Finch admitted his “excitement” ahead of his stay with Yorkshire, a move influenced by former White Rose star and current Australia coach Darren Lehmann.
“I’ve been excited about this for quite a while now,” he said, having just spent time in India at the IPL. “The opportunity to play in these conditions and for such a prestigious county is going to be fantastic.
“Knowing the area and the history and the passion that Yorkshire have for cricket, and having such a long history with Australians, is a good thing for me.
“When you’ve got someone like Boof (Lehmann) who has played here for such a long time as well.
He still claims to be the most famous person in Yorkshire.”
Finch is likely to bat in the middle order against Northants on Saturday as he looks to improve a first-class record which stands at 27.47 from 39 first-class matches and make a late bid for next summer’s Ashes series.
“I want to play Test cricket, and that’s my number one goal,” he added.
“When you grow up, you don’t grow up wanting to be a one-day cricketer for Australia. I grew up dreaming of becoming a Test cricketer, and this stint can only help that.
“It’s going to be a good learning curve, and hopefully the young guys here I can learn a lot from. There are some seriously good players, very experienced players as well, so I’ll be doing my best to learn as much as I can.”