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Yorkshire sign fast bowler Jack Brooks
Yorkshire have been rewarded for their patience with the capture of England Lions fast bowler Jack Brooks.
The White Rose county have beaten off competition from Roses rivals Lancashire and division one foes Nottinghamshire for the signature of the 28-year-old on a three-year contract.
Brooks opted to sign a new two-year deal at Northamptonshire prior to the most recent county season despite interest from Yorkshire, whose director of professional cricket Martyn Moxon went to watch him play during the 2011 campaign.
But he had a release clause inserted into the contract, which allowed him to move to either a division one county or a Test match ground.
“I’m absolutely elated to be joining Yorkshire, who are one of the biggest clubs in the country,” he said. “They’ve shown a lot of interest in me over the last couple of years, and it was ultimately too difficult to turn down.
“I want to be part of a successful young side that has been built at Headingley. Yorkshire enjoyed great success in 2012 and will certainly be challenging again next summer.
“I want to improve as a cricketer, and I believe that Yorkshire can help me do that.
“I’ve been at Northamptonshire for four enjoyable seasons. They have been excellent with me. I joined them from the amateur game, have left behind some very good friends there, and wish them all the best in the future.
“This move has been a cricket decision. I want to further my England aspirations, and am really looking forward to the challenges ahead.”
Brooks, famed for wearing a John McEnroe-style headband on the field, was signed by Northamptonshire in 2008 on the back of some impressive performances in Minor Counties cricket with Oxfordshire.
He made the first of his 37 first-class appearances against the touring Australians a year later.
Oxford-born Brooks has 118 wickets to his name at an average of 28.95, including four five-wicket hauls. He has also taken 19 list ‘A’ wickets and 25 in Twenty20.
But he did not enjoy the best of summers in 2012 due to injury and loss of form. He only took 28 wickets in ten Championship matches having suffered from an Achilles tendon problem.
Although he toured Bangladesh and the United Arab Emirates with the Lions earlier this year, he has missed out on a place in England’s Performance Programme squad for November’s tour of India.
“We are really pleased to have acquired Jack’s services,” added Moxon. “We’ve been looking to strengthen our squad to challenge in the first division of the LV= County Championship in 2013, and believe that Jack brings a great deal of quality to our existing seam attack.”
This is not expected to be the last signing Yorkshire make during the close season, with a further addition to the seam attack possible.
The batting may also need strengthening if Joe Root cements a place at the top of the order in England’s Test team, while veteran Anthony McGrath's future at the club has yet to be confirmed.