GARY Ballance wants to finish his career with Yorkshire after signing a two-year contract extension to remain at Headingley until the end of 2019.

The county's new captain has extended his current deal, and follows Jack Brooks and Steve Patterson in committing their immediate futures to the White Rose.

The England batsman joined Yorkshire ahead of the 2008 season, going on to score 12 hundreds and 25 fifties in 70 County Championship matches for them.

He has also added two hundreds and 12 fifties in 45 List A matches and three fifties in 57 Twenty20 appearances.

Left-handed Ballance has represented England on 37 occasions across Test Match and ODI cricket.

"I'm really appreciative of Yorkshire for giving me an opportunity earlier in my career, the opportunity to move up to Leeds and play there," said the 27-year-old.

"I've loved every minute of it, have worked with some great coaches, very talented players, and I'd love to stay here for the rest of my career.

"I've been at Yorkshire for such a long time now, and it's the only place I want to be.

"So it's great to get an extension signed before the season starts, and now I can just focus on playing cricket.

"The new deal has come at the perfect time for me. I can now purely focus on the captaincy, batting and scoring runs. There are no outside worries.

"For me, it's all about focusing on the main task - scoring runs and winning matches for Yorkshire. As captain, I want to help build on the success the club have enjoyed in recent years."

First-team coach Andrew Gale said: "He's one of the best batsmen in the country, and his record backs that up.

"He's done it at international level too for England, so we want to keep him at the club for as long as we can. I believe he's got all the qualities to be a success for Yorkshire.

Ballance is currently in Dubai on Yorkshire's pre-season tour, and he will lead the side out for the first time as permanent captain in a two-day match against ICC Associate nation Papua New Guinea tomorrow.

The Yorkshire Academy product is also backing some more of the club's youngsters to play a part this summer.

He added: "The young guys have trained really hard these past two months. They're ready to go. If they get an opportunity, hopefully they can take it.

"Individually, everyone needs to make sure that when they get back home they're ready to play. Not just the first XI, the whole squad.

"Hopefully I can find out who will be ready to play in that first game, and over these next 12 days, everyone can find some form, get some wickets, get some runs and be ready for the start of the season."