Keshav Maharaj to re-join Yorkshire for SpecSavers spell

South Africa's Keshav Maharaj
©Reuters
 

The Yorkshire County Cricket Club have re-signed South African left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj for their next two pivotal Specsavers County Championship fixtures.

Maharaj, 29, will play against Nottinghamshire at North Marine Road, Scarborough from August 18 and will then travel to Taunton for a key clash with Somerset, hot on the heels of last month’s innings-and-73 run home win at Headingley.

The crafty South African finger-spinner is scheduled to arrive back in the UK on Wednesday next week and will be available for all T20 and four-day cricket until the conclusion of the Club’s Specsavers County Championship fixture against Somerset at Taunton, which is due to finish on Friday September 13.

In white-ball cricket, he begins with the away Roses clash at Lancashire on Friday August 9, as well as playing at Derbyshire (Aug 11), Durham home and away (16, 23 Aug – the first of those televised on Sky Sports), Notts Outlaws (Aug 25), Northants Steelbacks (Aug 29), Birmingham Bears (Aug 30), as well as any potential quarter-final involvement.

“When I first arrived, I felt very welcomed by all the club officials and my fellow team-mates,” Maharaj told yorkshireccc.com. “I managed to settle in really well on the cricketing front and I’m just glad that the opportunity has been afforded to me to be able to come back for the two four-day games and maybe a few T20s as well.

“I’ve always wanted to play T20 cricket around the world, as regularly as I can and as often as I can. It’s my first T20 gig outside of South Africa so I’m really looking forward to it. Hopefully, I can have an impact and that the team can get through to Finals day.

“I would love to make this a regular feature with Yorkshire cricket. Being a pro cricketer, I’d love to ply my trade all over the world.  I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Yorkshire so it will be a pleasure to come back as much as possible.

“I was really pleased to be able to contribute in two victories out of three; I would have loved to made it a third. Hopefully over the two remaining fixtures I can get another couple of victories and help put the team in a good position to win the Championship.”

Maharaj previously played in three red-ball fixtures for the White Rose, scoring 193 runs at an average of 38.60, including two half-centuries and a highest score of 85 against Essex at Chelmsford. With the ball he claimed 20 wickets for 399 runs, including 49 maidens at an average of 19.95.

Director of Cricket Martyn Moxon said: “With the injury to Adil Rashid and Dom Bess due to go back following the conclusion of the 10th T20, it was important we got Keshav back. He was outstanding in his first spell with us and was in a rich vein of form before he left.

“Keshav served two purposes for us, he took wickets but also contained the run-rate. He’s controlled the rate and when he’s got assistance from the pitch he’s taken wickets. He’s an international spinner, exactly what you want and is something we want some of our younger players to try and emulate.”

First XI Coach Andrew Gale said: “He made a great impact in the three weeks he was with us. He’s a classy spin bowler and he contributed greatly to our wins over Surrey and Somerset.

“He fitted in well with the dressing room and also contributed well with the bat down the order. We look forward to having him back with us next week and we hope he can continue to perform well for us at North Marine Road and Taunton too.”

©Cricket World 2019