Warwickshire have signed Yorkshire all-rounder Will Rhodes on a two-year contract. Rhodes, a former England U19 captain, will join Warwickshire at the end of the 2017 season.
Rhodes' opportunities at Yorkshire had been blocked by a surplus of fine players with the recent signing of Tom Kohler-Cadmore from Worcestershire pushing him even further back in the pecking order. Aged 22, he is understandably keen to be playing first-team cricket. It is understood he was recommended to Warwickshire by former Yorkshire coach, Jason Gillespie.
Warwickshire, who have missed out on a couple of other potential signings in recent weeks (notably Kohler-Cadmore and Daniel Bell-Drummond) see Rhodes as a potential opening batsman, a capable fourth or fifth seamer and a positive addition to the dressing room with leadership potential.
He also begins the process or rebalancing the age of the Warwickshire squad. Currently over reliant on several 30-something cricketers - many of whom are out of contract at the end of the 2018 season - the management at Warwickshire are keen to supplement a mis-firing youth system with astute signings from elsewhere.
While the immediate reaction of Warwickshire supporters might have been underwhelming, the club's management hope they have identified an undervalued talent who will thrive given more opportunity. And it is true that Rhodes is highly-rated at Yorkshire who currently have an embarrassment of riches.
"Will is a genuine all-rounder and very exciting cricketer, who has the versatility to bat anywhere from one to seven in the batting order whilst also being a strong addition to our seam bowling attack," Ashley Giles, Warwickshire's director of sport, said.
"He is a great character with leadership experience, as a former captain of England U19s and Yorkshire Academy. At 22 he has a good future ahead of him and we are delighted to welcome him to Warwickshire."
"I'm very excited to sign for Warwickshire for the next two years and to take this next step in my career with a club that has also has such a proud history and outstanding facilities," Rhodes said. "I've had some great discussions with Ashley Giles and the coaching team at Edgbaston and I look forward to joining up with the squad very soon.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed my 12 years in the set-up at Yorkshire, particularly my last four years as a professional. My thanks go to all players, coaches and staff for their support and I wish them the very best for the future."