County news August 14, 2013

Yorkshire sign Williamson for season's final leg

ESPNcricinfo staff

Yorkshire have signed New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson for the last five matches of the County Championship. Williamson will provide cover for Gary Ballance, who has been named in the England Lions squad for three one-day matches against Bangladesh A as well as add further depth to the top order.

Williamson will be available for the match against Nottinghamshire on August 21 at Trent Bridge, and will remain with the county until the end of the season. Yorkshire are currently leading Division One with 158 points from 11 games.

Williamson, who has been a regular in New Zealand's Test side over the past three years, has played 25 Tests and scored 1385 runs at an average of 31.47. In 69 first-class matches, he has scored 4646 runs at an average of 40.40. Williamson was a part of the New Zealand squad that toured England earlier in the year and also has previous county experience, having represented Gloucestershire as an overseas player in 2011 and 2012.

"Once we knew that Gary was unavailable, because of his international call-up, we made a conscious effort to bring in a proven international batsman to help bolster the squad," Jason Gillespie, Yorkshire's head coach, said. "The decision was made in consultation with Martyn Moxon, Andrew Gale, and Michael Vaughan, representing the board on cricketing matters, also played a pivotal role in bringing in Kane. It is the right thing to do and he is a quality player with a proven first-class record."

Williamson, who plays first-class cricket for Northern Districts in New Zealand, said the county experience would help him prepare for New Zealand's summer of cricket: "Once I knew Yorkshire were in for me, I jumped at the chance of being part of their plans in the final part of season," he said. "To play for Yorkshire will enhance my game and give me every opportunity to score some runs as I get ready for the summer back home in New Zealand."