YORKSHIRE yesterday confirmed the signing of Liam Plunkett, who hopes the move will rekindle his England career.

With a year left on his contract, Durham will be happy to offload Plunkett from their wage bill as he has been unable to respond to their tireless efforts to resurrect what was a hugely promising career.

He is still only 27, but it is seven years since he played the first of his nine Tests and the more coaches he has worked with in that time the more wayward his bowling has become.

As Yorkshire have also signed Jack Brooks from Northamptonshire and have high hopes that Moin Ashraf will continue to develop, Plunkett cannot expect an automatic place.

In handing him a three-year contract Yorkshire are taking a much bigger gamble than they did in taking Steve Harmison on a month's loan.

Durham gambled in the fifth match of the season when, with Graham Onions unavailable and Ben Stokes injured, they selected both Harmison and Plunkett to play at Taunton.

The move backfired as both bowled erratically, Plunkett taking none for 69 in 12 overs in the first innings. He wasn't called upon to bowl in the second and it proved to be his only championship appearance of the season.

Last year he played in only the first two games and there were encouraging signs in the second when he bowled a hostile spell in the final session at Headingley and his three wickets helped Durham to victory.

There had been talk pre-season of restricting his workload to prevent injury, but the effort he put into securing that win against Yorkshire took its toll and he didn't reappear until the Twenty20 competition, by which time his accuracy had disappeared again.

Durham announced that he would undergo lengthy rehabilitation in the winter, going back to basics in his bowling action, which had undergone some tinkering by the England coaches several years ago.

Hopes were high at the start of the 2012 season that the work would pay dividends, but while there were occasional signs in the Twenty20 that the Middlesbrough-born paceman was getting back to his old self, he ended the competition with an Achilles injury and didn't play again.

Plunkett now hopes that the fresh challenge will do the trick, saying "I am delighted to be joining Yorkshire for next season.

"I felt the time was right for a new challenge in my career and the opportunity to join one of the biggest clubs in the country was too good to turn down.

"Martyn Moxon was head coach at Durham when I made my debut for the county and also when I made my England debut. The opportunity to work under him again and also under Jason Gillespie is very exciting.

"The club has had a strong 2012 and I believe adding myself and Jack Brooks to the squad will give us the best bowling attack in the country and will help propel us towards silverware in 2013.

"I have been fortunate enough to represent my country as recently as last year and there is no doubt I want to pull on an England shirt again. I strongly believe I have what it takes to play at the highest level again and I feel Yorkshire is the best environment to help me achieve this."

Plunkett initially attracted Yorkshire's attention as a schoolboy batsman, but it was Durham's Geoff Cook who spotted his potential as a bowler and took him into the academy.

He made his first-class debut, aged 18, in 2003 against Durham University and a few weeks later he took five for 53 on his championship debut at Headingley.

It was not the only time he performed well at Headingley, showing his prowess with the bat there in 2009, when Durham were heading for defeat until he contributed 65 to the county's record eighth-wicket stand of 147 with Phil Mustard in the second innings.

The same pair had put on 143 at the ground the previous year, but by the time Durham clinched their first title at the end of that season Plunkett was out of the team.

He was a regular over the next two seasons and took 49 wickets when the title was retained in 2009. But his accuracy became a recurring problem and when he also suffered a second conviction for drink-driving Durham told him they would not stand in his way if an opportunity arose elsewhere.

Cook said: "On behalf of everybody at the club, I would like to wish Liam all the very best. I would also like to thank him for not only how he represented the club, but also what he has achieved, which has put Durham on the international cricket map."

Plunkett added: "I have had 12 very happy years at Durham and wish to thank the supporters, staff and my playing colleagues for the support they have shown me over that time. I have been immensely proud to represent England as a Durham player and thank the club for all they have done in helping me reach that level. I look forward to coming back to Emirates Durham ICG, a place I will always regard as home."

Moxon said: "I know Liam well from my time in Durham. A wholehearted cricketer with considerable talent, he brings experience and quality to the Yorkshire side as we head back to the first division.

"He has what it takes to regain a place in the England side. I'm sure Yorkshire can further assist his development and help him achieve his ambitions within the game. I look forward to working with him again."