England Test hopeful Adam Lyth has commited his future to Yorkshire, signing a new contract which will see him remain at Headingley until the end of 2018.
Left-hand opener Lyth, out in South Africa with England Lions as he presses for full Test recognition, is widely tipped to go on the full tour of the West Indies in April and May.
He amassed 1,489 runs last summer with six hundreds, including two double centuries, and captured the Professional Cricketers’ Association’s player-of-the-year award.
Opening partner and fellow left-hander Alex Lees, 21, took the young player of the year accolade.
The pair were crucial to Yorkshire’s Championship title success, with 27-year-old Lyth averaging 67.68 and Lees scoring 971 Championship runs at an average of 44.13.
The pair also won the Cricket Writers’ Club awards.
Lyth’s double centuries came against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road and Lancashire at Old Trafford. That knock of 251, was just two short of the highest score by anyone in Roses cricket.
Speaking in South Africa about his new three-year deal, Lyth said: “I am delighted to be committing my long-term future to Yorkshire.
“It was an incredible year for me and I just want to keep on improving. To play for Yorkshire is very special and to contribute to our recent success is why we all play.
“I dream of winning trophies for Yorkshire and after winning the Championship last summer, I firmly believe this will be first of many.”
The Whitby-born opener said of his international ambitions: “I have enjoyed playing with the Lions this winter and I have a strong desire to play for the England senior side, hopefully sooner rather than later.
“As a cricketer, you want to test yourself against the best. I would love to play for England. All I can do is work hard, continue to score runs and put myself in the minds of the selectors. I try not to think too much about that. All I want to do is play to my best and help Yorkshire continue to prosper.”
Yorkshire’s director of cricket Martyn Moxon said: “It was really easy to get Adam signed up for the long-term.
“Lythie has always had a lot of natural talent but what we are seeing now is a growing maturity about his batting.
“He is potentially close to an England call-up, which is testament to his ability as one of the country’s leading players.
“The way he adapts to different situations is his biggest strength. We have seen him play a number of quality innings where he has had to work hard and apply himself. His ability to accumulate big runs was a factor in his success and we can expect another big year from him in 2015.”
With Yorkshire likely to be hit by several international calls this summer, the club are expected to announce a couple of overseas signings in the near future.
India’s hopes of reaching the final of the Tri-Series remain alive after their one-day international against Australia was abandoned after just 16 overs in Sydney due to rain.
The no result means Friday’s match between Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men and England in Perth will be a straight shootout to play Australia in Sunday’s final at the same venue.
The tournament’s hosts would have been hoping to mark Australia Day in fine style by claiming their fourth win from as many matches and had reduced their opponents to 69-2 before rain intervened.
George Bailey returned to the side after missing the win over England due to suspension and won the toss, choosing to field first.
After just 16 legal deliveries, the teams were forced off for the first time due to the inclement weather, with the match reduced to 44 overs per side after a near hour delay.
On the resumption, Shikhar Dhawan edged Mitchell Starc to first slip, having made just eight.
Ambati Rayudu seemed in confident mood, lofting Mitchell Marsh for six in his 23 off 24 balls, but the Perth man would have his revenge when the batsman miscued to David Warner, who took a catch running back from cover.
They were then forced off for a second time and did not return, leaving Ajinkya Rahane unbeaten on 28 and Virat Kohli on three not out.
New Zealand batsman Martin Guptill will return to Derbyshire as an overseas signing for the early part of their 2015 season.
The opener played eight County Championship matches in both the 2011 and 2012 seasons, scoring 1,131 runs in total at an average of over 40.
His contribution helped them to the Division Two title three years ago, and he will return for the first six matches of their campaign this year as they once again seek promotion.