Keshav Maharaj Signs for Yorkshire CCC
The Yorkshire County Cricket Club is delighted to announce the acquisition of South African Test spinner Keshav Maharaj on a short-term red-ball deal.
The Durban-born 29-year-old joins the White Rose ahead of a key period of Specsavers County Championship action and arrived in the UK yesterday, having been successful with his VISA application.
Maharaj goes straight into First XI Coach Andrew Gale’s squad to face holders Surrey in the Specsavers County Championship fixture at Scarborough.
A proven performer on the world stage, Maharaj will play the next three red-ball games, appearing North Marine Road and Chelmsford, before making his final appearance in the fixture against Somerset which gets underway at Emerald Headingley on Saturday July 13.
The left-arm orthodox spinner, who made his First-Class debut aged 16 for KwaZulu-Natal and plays franchise cricket for the Dolphins, has taken 427 First-Class wickets at an average of 27.44. He took four wickets and made an unbeaten 41 on Test debut against Australia at the WACA, Perth in November 2016, and has claimed 94 wickets in the 25 Test matches he has played to date.
“When you start playing club cricket in the UK, you keep an eye on the circuit and always wonder what it would be like to play it,” he told yorkshireccc.com. “I got the opportunity to play for Lancashire, and against Yorkshire, and developed a bit of a relationship with a few of the guys. I’m very, very happy and privileged to be coming back.
“As a cricketer the more you play the better you get. Coming out of a pre-season, it’s a bit of a stepping stone to my domestic season and it will be nice to get a few overs under my belt.
“Aside from the cricket you learn a lot about yourself. You’re sort of a stranger in a different place. You have to learn to take more responsibility and find a way to get through things. It adds to your character.
“I’m really excited though and didn’t expect an opportunity to come up so soon. It was an opportunity, nonetheless, that I wasn’t going to miss out on. Having played at Headingley, it was a great challenge and one that I will enjoy during my time with the club. Going forwards I would like to be pivotal in winning some of the games during the three I’ve been signed on for and helping Yorkshire step up a little bit in the table.
“Yorkshire are a very tight-knit club, very well run, with lots of people turning up on the day of the game. They play a very good, exciting brand of cricket.
“Everyone says spinners in the UK are a handful, but take nothing away because there are some really skilled batters in the UK so it’s not as easy as people think it is. County Cricket is a very good challenge. You’re playing against the very best in the country skill-wise from a very concentrated group of cricketers. That makes the standard of the competition even stronger.
“If you want to be the best, you’ve got to go out there and do well against the best when you play against them.”
Yorkshire’s Director of Cricket, Martyn Moxon, said: “The feeling is that we’re trying to work out the balance of the team with a red-ball spinner. Dom Bess has done well for us, coming in to bat at number eight in the County Championship team. So with that in mind Keshav is someone who was available, an international spinner, so it was felt that in the short term it would be advantageous to bring him in for the few games that he’s got set aside.
“He's played against us for Lancashire and we’ve watched him playing for South Africa. He’s an excellent spin bowler who will hopefully do well for us.”
© Cricket World 2019