YORKSHIRE are closing in on an overseas replacement batsman for Kane Williamson after yesterday announcing the New Zealander’s return to Headingley on a short-term deal for the forthcoming summer.
Williamson, recently announced as Brendon McCullum’s successor as national captain, will link up with the White Rose county between June 9 and July 19.
It will be the 25-year-old’s third spell with the reigning county champions after playing for them in 2013 and 2014.
Martyn Moxon, Yorkshire’s director of cricket, has revealed they are currently in discussions with another player to fill the gaps that Williamson’s unavailability leaves due to international and IPL commitments as well as a period of rest.
“We’re in talks with someone at the minute, and I’m hopeful we’ll be able to announce something very shortly in that respect,” he confirmed. “It will be a batsman.”
Moxon also revealed that Yorkshire are not planning to fill their second overseas spot for a specialist Twenty20 player, and would only change their minds should England call-ups really bite.
“We’re not bringing anybody else in. The only way that might change is if we suddenly have a load of England call-ups - say (Gary) Ballance and (Adam) Lyth,” he said.
“If they get called up, that may change our thinking, but if they are predominantly available to us then we’re not planning on getting anyone else other than Kane and this other guy.”
During his forthcoming spell with Yorkshire, Williamson will be available for three Championship, eight Twenty20 and three 50-over matches.
He will play four-day matches against Durham and Surrey away and Middlesex at Scarborough as well as Roses fixtures away in the Royal London one-day Cup and at home in the NatWest T20 Blast.
“Obviously, it would have been nice to have him for a longer period, but ultimately during that period there’s a lot of cricket to be played,” added Moxon.
“It’s fantastic to have him. He’s such a fantastic player in all forms of the game, but a busy one, and it’s probably unrealistic to expect to be able to have him for the full season in this modern era.
“He’s enjoyed his time here in the past, and he was very keen to come back at some point.
“He’s a great role model who works exceptionally hard at his game. Everybody at the club loves him. He’s very much one of us.”
Williamson, currently captaining New Zealand in a one-day series against Pakistan, said: “I am excited to be going back to Yorkshire. I certainly enjoyed my first two stints there.
“I think playing county cricket is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to improve their game. To be fortunate enough to go to Yorkshire, where that is a big focus with the structures they have in place, is a good opportunity.
“Having been there a couple of times, it’s enjoyable to be part of such a team - a great bunch of fellas and support staff.
“It’s an environment that guys are encouraged to improve in, and I think they’ve shown that with the amount of England players they’ve produced in recent times.
“It’s such a great culture there, and being involved is quite special. With the success they’ve had recently, I’m looking forward to going back and contributing to some more.”