Northamptonshire all-rounder David Willey has signed a deal to join Yorkshire for the start of next season on a three year deal.
The 25 year-old, who has made five ODI appearances for England, will link up with Jason Gillespie and his Yorkshire team mates at a vital time for the White Rose as somewhat of a limited overs specialist – Yorkshire have endured a dismal campaign in this season’s NatWest T20 Blast, finishing second from bottom in their group.
Willey took a hat-trick in the final of the 2013 FLT20, and smashed his way to a 40-ball century last week for Northants – a knock that proved vital in propelling his side into this year’s final.
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A late bloomer in terms of his list-A career, Willey will be looking to add to his international caps in the forthcoming limited overs series' against Australia – where he will hopefully build on his recent form and better his top score of 167.
By adding Willey to their squad, at present Yorkshire will start the 2016 campaign with no less than eight recent England internationals.
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If Willey harbours ambitions of playing test cricket for his country, Yorkshire could be the place to be – playing in the first division of the County Championship will put him firmly on the radar of the England selectors – and of course playing at times alongside the number one test batsman in the world in Joe Root will aid his development.
Willey will leave Northants at a crucial time in their existence - financial worries look to have forced their hand in the sale of undoubtedly one of their prized assets. More players may yet exit the club before next summer; however Willey has the chance to leave his boyhood county with one more lasting memory – victory in this month’s Blast finals day in Birmingham.
Martyn Moxon, Yorkshire's director of cricket, voiced his delight at signing one of England’s bright future prospects.
"He is a highly talented all round cricketer and will be a great addition to our current squad," Moxon said. "He will play a big part in helping us be competitive in all forms of the game and hopefully we can play our part in helping him realise his ambition of playing Test cricket for England."
Northants head coach David Ripley told BBC Radio Northampton: "He's one of our best players so obviously there's disappointment, but certainly no bitterness. He has come through the system and been a great ambassador for the club.
"We hoped to keep him for the last year of his contract, but we also appreciate that his desire to play Test cricket might be better suited in Division One.”