Yorkshire land batsman Finch

The Northern Echo: THIRD IN THE WORLD: Aaron Finch smashed 156 in a T20 game against England last year THIRD IN THE WORLD: Aaron Finch smashed 156 in a T20 game against England last year

Yorkshire have signed Australia star Aaron Finch as an overseas player for part of the 2014 county campaign.

The powerful opening batsman has been predominantly recruited to play in the NatWest T20 Blast for the Vikings, although he has been registered to play in all forms of the game.

He will play some LV= County Championship cricket in the absence of New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson whilst he tours the West Indies between late May and July.

Finch spent a season playing club cricket for York side Clifton Alliance in 2009. The 27-year-old Victorian is now a fixture in Australia's one-day and Twenty20 sides, and he is ranked as the third best batsman in the world in the latter format.

He currently holds the world record for the highest ever T20 international innings - 156 against England at Southampton last August.

Finch, who will be hot property in today's Indian Premier League auction, will arrive at Headingley after his IPL commitments.

It is hoped he will debut against reigning T20 champions Northamptonshire at Headingley on Friday, May 16 - the opening fixture of the competition.

The Melbourne Renegades captain said: "It is a great honour to be joining Yorkshire. 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, and he recommended that I joined. 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. Even though the T20 season will be very exciting, I'm looking forward to testing myself in red ball cricket too.

With the schedule for New Zealand's tour of the West Indies unconfirmed, it is unclear how much Finch and Williamson will play together in Twenty20 cricket.

It is likely that Finch, who averages only 28.19 in first-class cricket, will make his Championship debut in the home Roses game with Lancashire on Sunday May 25.

Captain Andrew Gale met up with Finch during his recent spell of grade cricket in Melbourne, and said: "I think two or three other counties (were interested), but the biggest thing was playing some four-day cricket.

"I saw him in the Big Bash when he captained the Renegades, and I went out for lunch with him over there to see what he's like as a character really.

"Over the last few years one of our biggest assets has been that we've had everybody driving towards the same direction. We've got a very strong dressing room, and getting the right characters is key. He's a good lad."

Asked whether he helped to clinch the deal, Gale quipped: "No, I didn't. I just bought him a hamburger!"

Director of cricket Martyn Moxon also believes the pull of four-day cricket was key: "It's not a budget buster by any means, and I'm sure Aaron could have got more (money) elsewhere," he said.

"That's the beauty of this. He's shown he's keen to play for Yorkshire, and we've only got a certain amount of money that we can spend. He's happy to come for that. That shows that he's keen to play for Yorkshire, and it's not just about the money.

"From our point of view, he's going to be keen to do well for us in all forms of the game and not just T20. It should work in our favour."

Meanwhile, Moxon has ruled himself out of the race to replace Andy Flower as England's new team director after reports linking him with the role.

He added: "No, I'm very happy here. I want Yorkshire to be successful and help build a squad of players that's successful over a period of time with Yorkshire. I've got plenty of work to do here, and I'm looking forward to it."

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