sport

Yorkshire secure Finch coup

Yorkshire have secured the headline signing of big-hitting Australia batsman Aaron Finch for the 2014 season.

Finch set a new record for the highest innings in the 20-over format of the game last summer when he hit England's attack to all parts of the Ageas Bowl, eventually finishing with 156 runs off only 63 balls.

The right-hander has played 12 innings in Twenty20 internationals and scored 458 runs at an average of 45.8 - more importantly those runs have come at a scintillating strike-rate of 170.89.

Finch has been around the Australia limited-overs squad since 2011 but it was the knock at Southampton which marked him out as a Twenty20 player to fear - he hit 14 sixes and 11 fours, albeit in beautiful run-scoring conditions.

He proved that to be no fluke with two half-centuries on the tour of India and then showed off his 50-over form against England on home turf, scoring 121 in Melbourne and 108 in Perth as Australia won the series 4-1.

Finch said: "It is a great honour to be joining Yorkshire this summer. This is one of the biggest cricket clubs in the world with a history and tradition second to none. I've heard so much about the place and can't wait to join up with Jason Gillespie and the rest of the squad in May.

"When I heard Yorkshire was interested in signing me, I had no hesitation in signing. I had a good chat with Darren Lehmann (Australia coach) and he recommended that I joined the club. He can't speak highly enough of the place and Yorkshire's loyal supporters.

"I hope to play in all formats whilst I'm at the club and even though the T20 season will be very exciting, I'm looking forward to testing myself in red ball cricket too.

Challenge

"It is important for my cricket development to play in English conditions and to help Yorkshire be a force in all forms of the game will be a good challenge for me.

"I have some experience of the area having had a year playing for Clifton Alliance in the York Senior League a few years ago. I'm looking forward to meeting up with some old friends. I can't wait to get started."

Director of cricket Martyn Moxon said: "Aaron is one of the finest attacking batsmen in the game today and it's a real pleasure to have secured his signature. He's been instrumental in Australia's recent success, with some notable runs in the recent one-day series against England, including winning the Man of the Series and top-scoring with a 121 in Melbourne.

"There are not many players in the world that can fill stadiums, but we believe that Aaron is certainly one those box office stars. The Yorkshire public are in for a treat.

"This signing shows our intent this year. We want to be amongst the best teams in One-Day cricket and to have the services of one of the best batsmen in the world is a very exciting proposition for the Club.

"I have been impressed with the excitement he has shown to be part of Yorkshire. I know our supporters will be delighted that we have secured the services of a world-class competitor and I know they will be eager to see him in our colours once he arrives in May.

"To have two world-class performers available in Aaron and New Zealand international Kane Williamson, alongside our high-performing local players, should be a mouth-watering prospect once the NatWest T20 Blast season gets underway in May."