Yorkshire County Cricket Club has completed the signings of hard-hitting Australian batsmen Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell for the 2015 campaign.
Finch, the 28-year-old Australian T20 captain, will be returning to Headingley for his second spell after a successful campaign last term. He will arrive after his Indian Premier League commitments in May.
The powerful right-hander will feature in all formats for Yorkshire - LV County Championship, NatWest T20 Blast and the Royal London One-Day Cup.
Hard-hitting batsman Glenn Maxwell, 26, will arrive after his IPL obligations and will play for the Yorkshire Vikings in the T20 Blast competition.
This week he won the coveted Cricket Australia’s Twenty20 Player of the Year at the Allan Border Medal evening in Sydney.
Both players have been named in Australia’s ICC World Cup squad, which gets underway next month in Australia and New Zealand and are currently playing against England and India in the Tri-Series tournament in their native country.
Yorkshire’s First Team Coach Jason Gillespie was delighted to secure the signatures of two world-class players as the White Rose county aims to compete on all fronts in 2015.
“As a club we’re absolutely thrilled to bits to be able to secure the services of two very exciting players in world cricket,” said Gillespie.
“Aaron has been at the club before and for Glenn this will be his first experience at Yorkshire County Cricket Club
“I spoke to Glenn a little while ago and just enquired as to whether he would be interested in representing Yorkshire and outlined how we saw how well he could fit into the dressing room and the role we wanted him to play.
“He jumped at the opportunity, I think that says a lot about our Club, that players really want to come and play for us.
“Glenn has a fantastic all round game. He’s a clean striker of the ball, a wonderful fielder and he bowls some really good off spin but what I’m excited about is what he can bring to specifically our T20 game, a bit of entertainment and a bit of excitement.
“He’ll perform well for Yorkshire, no question and he’ll bring something we need, that middle to late innings hitting and a good fielder as well as bowl some handy overs for us and really put a show on for the crowd. We’ve got later starts with the lights at Headingley so it’s very exciting this year.
“We’re hoping people will get their tickets booked very quickly, this is going to be a huge season for us and hopefully that shows by our preparations.
“Aaron is a great leader, he has a lot of leadership and captaincy experience and having a player like that in the dressing room gives the younger players the opportunity to learn off him.
“He’s very open with how he likes to go about things and how he tries to adapt to situations in the middle. Any player that can listen and learn from a successful international cricketer is very worthwhile.”
Maxwell is no stranger to the English domestic scene. He represented Hampshire in two spells in 2012 and 2014 respectively and Surrey in 2013.
Joining the Vikings represents a new challenge for the Melbourne right-hander and he is honoured to be representing England’s most successful county.
“I’m pumped and can’t wait to play for Yorkshire in the T20 Blast competition,” said Maxwell.
“Yorkshire are one of biggest clubs in the world and to get the chance to play for them is an honour. I had two great spells with Hampshire and loved every minute. Heading to Yorkshire gives me a new challenge that I will relish.
“Under Dizzy (Jason Gillespie) they are doing really well and to lift the title last year was a fantastic achievement.
“They haven’t had much luck in the T20 tournament during the last couple of years, but with me and Finchy coming in we hope we can change that and help the club reach their potential like they did in 2012, when they reached finals day.
“I’ve had a couple of long discussions with Finchy and Boof (Darren Lehmann, Cricket Australia’s coach and former Yorkshire player) about Headingley and they can’t speak highly enough of the place.
“Yorkshire is heading in the right direction. I’m looking forward to getting over later in the year and making a positive contribution.”
Finch returns to Yorkshire after making a strong contribution in 2014 and is thrilled to be renewing friendships with his Headingley colleagues.
“It is great to be heading back to Yorkshire,” said Finch, who averaged 48.50 in the LV County Championship last season including scoring a century against Warwickshire at Edgbaston.
“I enjoyed my time with the Club last year and made some lifelong friendships.
“Yorkshire is a great Club, one of the best around and the way they play the game is very positive. To have made a contribution to their success of winning the title was really good.
“I relished the challenge of playing the County Championship against the moving red ball. It has certainly enhanced my game.
“This year the Club will be aiming to win the title again and having spoken to Frog (Martyn Moxon) and Dizzy (Jason Gillespie) there is a major emphasis on doing well in the T20 competition.
“There were signs last year that when we get it right we are a difficult side to beat. With more application and an improvement in how we approach the game, we can make a concerted effort in challenging for honours.
“Having Maxi (Maxwell) playing alongside me will be terrific. He is a true competitor and loves the shorter form of the game. He is motivated to be playing his cricket at Headingley and making a difference to the passionate Yorkshire supporters.”
Tickets for Yorkshire’s NatWest T20 Blast campaign go on open sale from 10.00am this Monday. The Vikings start their campaign on Friday May 15 against Derbyshire Falcons at Headingley under the stadium’s new floodlights, 7pm start.