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Yorkshire sign Shai Hope for first three rounds of County Championship

He will cover for club captain Shan Masood, who has been called up for Pakistan's limited-over series against New Zealand

Shai Hope hits one through the off side, West Indies vs South Africa, 2nd Test, Gros Islet, 2nd day, June 19, 2021

File photo: Shai Hope hits one through the off side  •  AFP/Getty Images

Yorkshire have announced the signing of West Indies batter Shai Hope for the first three rounds of the County Championship.
The 29-year-old, who also provides an option as wicketkeeper, will cover for Yorkshire club captain Shan Masood whose arrival has been delayed after being called up for Pakistan's limited-over series against New Zealand. With five T20Is and five ODIs, Masood may only be available from the middle of May.
They had also signed New Zealand's Neil Wagner for their first ten County Championship fixtures but the left-arm quick was ruled out of his stint after tearing his hamstring during the Test series with Sri Lanka. An attempt to sign Pakistani batter Saud Shakeel has been delayed because of visa issues.
As such, the acquisition of Hope is a welcome boost on the eve of Yorkshire's season opener against Leicestershire at home. He has fond memories of playing at Headingley, after becoming the first player to score two hundreds in a first-class match at the ground when West Indies beat England there in August 2017. After scoring 147 in the first innings, he finished 118 not out in the second, leading his side to a successful chase of 322 for a famous five-wicket win.
Hope arrives straight from the Caribbean, having only just returned home from West Indies' ODI series against South Africa which finished 1-1. Hope's 128 not out in the second ODI earned him the Player-of-the-series award.
On the signing, Darren Gough, Yorkshire's managing director said: "He is a great signing. He brings so much experience - one thing we are lacking is just a little bit of experience so he just gives us that and comes into the squad for this first game."
"We felt we needed just the one experienced face in and we went for Shai. He has been playing well for the West Indies in one-day matches, he has got a record of playing Test cricket - he had his two hundreds at Headingley before for the West Indies."
"Hope has literally just got home a few days ago so it is a straight turn around. He will have to adjust to playing red ball, from white ball but he is a fantastic player and it's good to have someone of his quality to come in at short notice for three games."

Vithushan Ehantharajah is an associate editor at ESPNcricinfo