Handscomb stiffens Yorkshire top order

Peter Handscomb in action during his maiden Test hundred © Getty Images

Yorkshire have named Australia’s top-order batsman Peter Handscomb as their major overseas signing in 2017.

Handscomb made his Test debut for Australia at the end of November and made a maiden Test century in only his second Test when he scored 105 against Pakistan in Brisbane.

The Victoria and Melbourne Stars batsman will be available to play in all three formats for Yorkshire over the summer, although it is in the longer format where his reputation is most established.

Yorkshire have yet to secure a second overseas signing for the NatWest Blast which in 2017 will run in a more condensed window in midsummer.

Martyn Moxon, Yorkshire’s director of cricket said: “We are delighted to secure Peter’s signature for the 2017 season. Peter is a player that we have been aware of for a couple of years now and he has made an excellent start to his Test career. We look forward to welcoming him to Headingley and hope that he enjoys playing his cricket for Yorkshire next year.”

Andrew Gale had emphasised upon his appointment as 1st XI coach that he wanted to shake-up Yorkshire’s approach at all all age-group levels to developing Twenty20 cricketers, but the first overseas signing since his appointment does seem to have the Championship formly in mind as Yorkshire prioritise the top-order stability they lacked last season.

With Handscomb likely to slot in at No. 3 and Gary Ballance, a new captain who could struggle to regain his England Test place next season (such is the thinking anyway) at No. 4, the line-up behind the openers Adam Lyth and Alex Lees has a more solid look about it.

Gale said: “Peter is someone that we have had our eye on for a while. We looked at him as an option for last season, but the schedules didn’t quite work out. Since then he has gone from strength-to-strength, breaking into the Australian team and scoring his first Test hundred last week.

“We are getting a guy who is on the up. He is young and wants to prove himself on the biggest stage. That will be good for us in county cricket. Number three is where he might slot into in county cricket, but that is yet to be decided. He gives us another option with the gloves as well as he keeps wicket in the shorter forms for Victoria.

“The good thing is that he is a good player in all formats which suits us well given that he will be available for most of the season.”

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Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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