Yorkshire have signed fast bowler Billy Stanlake as an overseas player for the T20 Blast.
The club anticipate the Australian should be available for at least 12 matches in the competition – he could miss the first couple if he is included in the Australia squad for their tour of Zimbabwe – alongside New Zealander Kane Williamson, who has already been confirmed as the club’s other overseas player for the tournament. Cheteshwar Pujara has been signed for the opening section of the season.
While Stanlake has played only just six T20Is and two ODIs, he qualifies for a work permit by virtue of having been included in Cricket Australia’s contracted players list. Tall – he is, at 6ft 8in, thought to be the tallest cricketer in Australia’s international history – and blessed with sharp pace, Stanlake made his international debut in January 2017 and recently enjoyed an impressive Big Bash campaign with 11 wickets and an economy-rate of 6.47 runs per over.
Injuries – notably a succession of stress fractures and a toe infection that led to talk of an amputation – have limited Stanlake to just two first-class games and none since 2015 but he was recently picked up by Sunrisers Hyderabad for the 2018 IPL (where he will play alongside Yorkshire colleague Williamson) and was described as England’s Dawid Malan as a “fantastic bowler” who “swings it . and bowls at a good pace.”
“We’re delighted to have Billy on board,” Yorkshire’s Martyn Moxon told the club’s website. “He’s someone I noticed when I went out to see Dizzy [Former coach Jason Gillespie] in the Big Bash. He’s a tall, fast bowler with pace and is a wicket-taking option for us. Obviously since then he has progressed to being a full international T20 cricketer so we’re really excited about him joining up with us.
“The pace and bounce he gets really stood out for me and he’s a genuine wicket-taker which is just as important as keeping the runs down in one-day cricket.
“He’s something different for us and particularly with David Willey and Liam Plunkett not available for the first period of T20, assuming they’re playing for England, he’s a nice fit for us.”
“I’m really excited about heading over to England and representing Yorkshire Vikings in the domestic T20 competition,” Stanlake said. “It’ll be a great experience and hopefully an exciting few weeks. It’s a huge club with great history and tradition and I’ve only heard positive things from the guys who have been there in the past.
“The club have some really experienced pros on their books, who I’ll be looking to learn from during my time over there, but it will also be interesting to see how some of the club’s talented youngsters go about their business too.