Headingley set for Finch and Maxwell fireworks

Yorkshire have pulled off a devastating double swoop by announcing the captures of big-hitting Australians Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell as their overseas players for the 2015 season.

Both stars, currently playing for Australia in the Tri-Series and part of their World Cup squad, will arrive at Headingley after their Indian Premier League commitments in May.

Opening batsman Finch returns for a second spell with the White Rose, having impressed last season, and is available for LV= County Championship, Royal London One-Day Cup and NatWest T20 Blast cricket.

Batting all-rounder Maxwell will represent the Vikings in the Blast, a competition where Yorkshire will play six of their seven home matches under new floodlights.

The high-profile signings of Finch and Maxwell means first-team coach Jason Gillespie will have both Australia‘s T20 skipper and their sprint format player of the year at his disposal in the Blast, which they have never won.

Former Australia paceman Gillespie said: “As a club we’re absolutely thrilled to bits to be able to secure the services of two very exciting players in world cricket.

“Aaron has been at the club before and for Glenn this will be his first experience at Yorkshire County Cricket Club.

“I spoke to Glenn a little while ago and just enquired as to whether he would be interested in representing Yorkshire and outlined how we saw how well he could fit into the dressing room and the role we wanted him to play. 

“He jumped at the opportunity. I think that says a lot about our club, that players really want to come and play for us.”

Finch arrived at the Tykes last season as the number-one ranked T20 batsman in the world but, despite hitting two fifties, it was his four-day performances which caught the eye.

Aaron Finch, left, and Glenn Maxwell, right, are both expected to arrive at Headingley after their Indian Premier League commitments

Filling the void left by New Zealand international Kane Williamson, the 28-year-old struck 629 runs and one century at an average of 48.50 in six innings in Yorkshire’s title-winning campaign.

Finch, who formed an epic partnership in the field with Adam Lyth in the Blast (below), said: “It is great to be heading back to Yorkshire. I enjoyed my time with the club last year and made some lifelong friendships.

“Yorkshire is a great club, one of the best around and the way they play the game is very positive. To have made a contribution to their success of winning the title was really good.

“I relished the challenge of playing the County Championship against the moving red ball. It has certainly enhanced my game.

“This year the club will be aiming to win the title again and having spoken to Frog (Martyn Moxon) and Dizzy (Gillespie) there is a major emphasis on doing well in the T20 competition.

“There were signs last year that when we get it right we are a difficult side to beat. With more application and an improvement in how we approach the game, we can make a concerted effort in challenging for honours.

“Having Maxi (Maxwell) playing alongside me will be terrific. He is a true competitor and loves the shorter form of the game. He is motivated to be playing his cricket at Headingley and making a difference to the passionate Yorkshire supporters.”

Gillespie added: “Aaron is a great leader, he has a lot of leadership and captaincy experience and having a player like that in the dressing room gives the younger players the opportunity to learn off him. 

“He’s very open with how he likes to go about things and how he tries to adapt to situations in the middle. Any player that can listen and learn from a successful international cricketer is very worthwhile.”

Maxwell, nicknamed the Big Show, is regarded as one of the most destructive T20 batsmen around the world and has had successful spells in the IPL and Big Bash League.

Finch's maiden T20 half-century for Yorkshire Vikings arrived in the Roses victory over Lancashire Lightning at Emirates Old Trafford

The 26-year-old, who has also had spells in county cricket with Hampshire twice and Surrey, is the latest in a long line of Australians to join Yorkshire.

He revealed he received advice from fellow countryman Finch and former Tyke Darren Lehmann, now Australia coach, before signing on the dotted line.

“I’m pumped and can’t wait to play for Yorkshire in the T20 Blast competition,” he said.

“Yorkshire are one of biggest clubs in the world and to get the chance to play for them is an honour. I had two great spells with Hampshire and loved every minute. Heading to Yorkshire gives me a new challenge that I will relish.

“Under Dizzy (Jason Gillespie) they are doing really well and to lift the title last year was a fantastic achievement. They haven’t had much luck in the T20 tournament during the last couple of years, but with me and Finchy coming in we hope we can change that and help the club reach their potential like they did in 2012, when they reached finals day.

Maxwell, formerly of Hampshire and Surrey, is regarded as one of the most aggressive batsmen in world cricket

“I’ve had a couple of long discussions with Finchy and Boof (Lehmann) about Headingley and they can’t speak highly enough of the place. Yorkshire is heading in the right direction. I’m looking forward to getting over later in the year and making a positive contribution.”

Gillespie said: “Glenn has a fantastic all-round game. He’s a clean striker of the ball, a wonderful fielder and he bowls some really good off-spin but what I’m excited about is what he can bring to specifically our T20 game, a bit of entertainment and a bit of excitement. 

“He’ll perform well for Yorkshire, no question and he’ll bring something we need, that middle to late innings hitting and a good fielder as well as bowl some handy overs for us and really put a show on for the crowd. We’ve got later starts with the lights at Headingley so it’s very exciting this year.  

“We’re hoping people will get their tickets booked very quickly. This is going to be a huge season for us and hopefully that shows by our preparations.”    

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