Yorkshire, who won the County Championship last summer, this morning unveiled Australian stars Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell as overseas players for the 2015 season.
Finch, who enjoyed a spell at Headingley last season, will play all formats of the game for Yorkshire while Maxwell, who will play for Australia at the World Cup, will play for Yorkshire Vikings in the NatWest T20 Blast competition after completing his IPL commitments.
Yorkshire coach Jason Gillespie said of his fellow Australians: “As a club we’re absolutely thrilled to bits to be able to secure the services of two very exciting players in world cricket.
“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. He’ll really put a show on for the crowd.
“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 them.
“He’s very open with how he likes to go about things and how he tries to adapt to situations in the middle.”
Maxwell, who has represented Hampshire (twice) and Surrey in England, added: “I’m pumped and can’t wait to play for Yorkshire.
“Yorkshire are one of biggest clubs in the world and to get the chance to play for them is an honour.
“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 (Aaron Finch) 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, who averaged almost 50 in four-day competition last season, added: “It is great to be heading back to Yorkshire. 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 on Monday. The Vikings start their campaign on Friday May 15 against Derbyshire Falcons at Headingley under the stadium’s new floodlights (7.00pm start).