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Shai Hope signs for Yorkshire CCC on eve of season

Shai Hope signs for Yorkshire CCC on eve of season
Shai Hope signs for Yorkshire CCC on eve of season
©REUTERS

The Yorkshire County Cricket Club is delighted to announce the signing of Headingley record-breaker Shai Hope on a short-term overseas contract.

Hope, 29, will be available for the first three LV= Insurance County Championship games and will be one of the Club’s overseas players, linking up on the eve of the 2023 season.

In 2017, the Bajan became the first player ever to score two hundreds in the same first-class match at Headingley when he did it for the West Indies in a Test Match against England.

Hope, who plays as a wicketkeeper/batter, made his Test debut for the West Indies as a 21-year-old, having played just 14 first-class matches at the time.

Darren Gough, Managing Director for Yorkshire County Cricket Club, said: “He is a great signing.

“He brings so much experience – one thing we are lacking is just a little bit of experience so he just gives us that and comes into the squad for this first game.”

The right-handed batter’s twin hundreds feat came in the 534th first-class match at Headingley.

Hope was 23 at the time, the youngest member of the XI, leading West Indies to victory with scores of 147 and 118 not out. They had been faced with a target of 322 – not since Bradman’s Invincibles rocketed to 404 for 3 in 1948 had a team chased that many on Yorkshire’s storied turf, and won.

Adding to the occasion was the fact the West Indies had been dismantled only a week earlier, England beating them by an innings and 209 runs to ensure their fans could savour the advent of day-night Test cricket in the country.

“We felt we needed just the one experienced face in and we went for Shai. He has been playing well for the West Indies in one-day matches, he has got a record of playing Test cricket – he had his two hundreds at Headingley before for the West Indies,” said Gough.

Hope has recently just finished playing against South Africa in an ODI series.

Gough added: “Hope has literally just got home a few days ago so it is a straight turn around. He will have to adjust to playing red ball, from white ball but he is a fantastic player and it’s good to have someone of his quality to come in at short notice for three games.”

Hope made his first-class debut in 2012-13, but propelled himself into consideration for the West Indies team after a superb season in 2014-15, when he scored 628 runs in nine domestic matches – he was the fourth-highest run-getter in the WI regional four-day tournament.

He racked up 538 runs at 67.25 in 2015-16 – the highest average among the top-10 run-scorers – and secured his maiden first-class double-hundred at his home ground, Kensington Oval, in March 2017.

The new club captain of Yorkshire and Pakistan batter, Shan Masood, will not be available for the initial rounds of the 2023 County Championship after being selected in Pakistan’s upcoming home series against New Zealand.

The full squad for Yorkshire CCC against Leicestershire will be announced later today.