England Lions opener Alex Lees has committed his long-term future to Yorkshire as the county champions continue to lay the foundations for a sustained period of dominance.
Lees, who was named English cricket’s young player of the year for the opening partnership he forged with Adam Lyth in the 2014 County Championship triumph, has signed a contract with the Headingley club that runs until December 2019.
Frontline bowler Steve Patterson has signed a new deal until December 2016. The news comes on the back of the announcement last week that Yorkshire have signed the explosive Australian duo of Glenn Maxwell and Aaron Finch for this coming summer.
Halifax-born left-hander Lees, 21, won the coveted young player of the year award at both major cricket award ceremonies and is currently in South Africa with the England Lions alongside six of his Yorkshire colleagues.
“It has been an incredible year for me and signing a new contract tops it off nicely,” said Lees, who scored 971 Championship runs at an average of just over 44.
“It is a great honour to play for Yorkshire. To have that privilege over the next few years is very satisfying. I have a personal goal to continue to test myself against all attacks, scoring big runs and doing my bit to help the club continue to prosper.
“The sign of a great side is to be successful over a period of time. We have to build on what we achieved in 2014 and hopefully go on to dominate the Championship. The new campaign will be a test of our mental strength, but when you look around the dressing room we have a strong belief that we can continue to prosper amongst the best teams.”
Patterson, who hails from Beverley, has been a consistent performer over the past few seasons. The 31-year-old took 36 Championship wickets at an average of 27.81 last season.
“The team is performing well and to be part of that success in recent years has been special,” said Patterson. “I want to continue contributing with solid performances. We have a tight unit and we know as champions we are going to have to improve our game further to retain the title.”