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Keshav Maharaj Returns to Yorkshire CCC

Keshav Maharaj Returns to Yorkshire CCC
Keshav Maharaj Returns to Yorkshire CCC

The Yorkshire County Cricket Club is delighted to announce the return of Keshav Maharaj, who will be the Club’s overseas player for the opening two County Championship fixtures of 2020.

The left-arm spinner, who made a huge impact for the White Rose this summer claiming 38 wickets in just five First-Class appearances, is set to play in the season opener against Gloucestershire at Emerald Headingley starting April 12, followed by Essex at Chelmsford on April 19.

Maharaj, who plays franchise cricket for the Dolphins in South Africa, claimed four five-wicket hauls for the White Rose this summer, with a best of 7 for 52 against Surrey at Scarborough. With the bat, the destructive right-hander made some handy lower-order contributions compiling 239 runs at an average of 26.55, with two half-centuries.

Maharaj said: “I had a good relationship with the players and staff and really enjoyed my time this year. I’m very grateful to be given the opportunity to come back and play for Yorkshire again.

“I surprised myself with the numbers that I put up with ball and bat so I’m just happy to have been able to contribute in the way I did. Hopefully in the two games that I have signed for I can make a similar impact and help start the season well.”

Director of Cricket Martyn Moxon said: “We’ve been able to persuade him to come and play in the first couple of games which will hopefully get us off to a good start.

“He won matches for us this year. He was fantastic on the pitch for us, but also off the field with the way he spoke to our players. He was very willing to share experiences and advice, so he was the perfect overseas player.

“We look forward to welcoming him back, albeit for a short period of time this coming season.”

Maharaj said: “I like to learn as I go along and learning things from some of the older players like Lythy (Adam Lyth) and Patto (Steve Patterson) helps my game. As a youngster growing up you always want to learn from other spinners. Now I’m fortunate enough to be in a position to impart some of my knowledge on others, whether that be on the field or off it.”

The left-arm spinner not only impressed with the ball during 2019 but made vital contributions with the bat from number eight, impressing Director of cricket Moxon.

“Our biggest challenge at the minute with our own spinners is the balance of the team,” Moxon continued. “Obviously Kesh coming in, batting at eight and scoring useful runs at times helps us with the balance of the side. That’s our challenge going forward, looking at how we manage that with our own spinners.

“With next season in mind, we’ve got a short-term plan with regards to spin, but we need to keep the long-term in mind too and develop our own spinners as much as we can.” 

With Maharaj set to return to South Africa after the Essex clash, the White Rose will secure the services of another overseas player for much of the rest of the season.

Moxon continued: “As far as overseas players for the County Championship beyond the first two games of the season, we have a deal agreed but just need the contract to be signed so hopefully that won’t be too long.”

© Cricket World 2019