Yorkshire keen to see rising star Williamson seal return

CHAMPAGNE MOMENT: Yorkshire's Kane Williamson, second left, tries to avoid the celebratory bubbles with his New Zealand team-mates in Wellington after his man-of-the-match performance saw the hosts enjoy a 2-0 victory in their Test series against Sri Lanka. Picture: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images.
CHAMPAGNE MOMENT: Yorkshire's Kane Williamson, second left, tries to avoid the celebratory bubbles with his New Zealand team-mates in Wellington after his man-of-the-match performance saw the hosts enjoy a 2-0 victory in their Test series against Sri Lanka. Picture: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images.
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YORKSHIRE boss Martyn Moxon has paid tribute to record-breaking run-scorer Kane Williamson and confirmed that the New Zealand batsman remains firmly on the club’s radar.

Williamson shared in a world record sixth-wicket stand of 365 in Test cricket with BJ Watling against Sri Lanka at Wellington, where Williamson’s Test-best 242 not out helped seal a 2-0 series win yesterday.

It was just the latest tour de force by the talented 24-year-old, who helped Yorkshire to the County Championship title last summer having also represented the club in 2013.

Yorkshire have already said they would like Williamson back again this summer, depending on his international duties, and Moxon clarified the current state of play as he outlined his personal admiration for the right-hander.

“We’re still hoping that Kane might be available but, as ever, it all comes down to international commitments,” said Moxon.

“New Zealand are touring England in May and we’re still waiting for confirmation as to whether Kane would be available prior to that tour or not, and then what his availability would be like later in the season.

“We’re still trying to get that information.

“But he’s an outstanding young player and we’d like him to play for Yorkshire as much as he is able to given his international commitments, and he remains very much on the radar.”

Yorkshire and Williamson have forged what might be termed –with apologies to the political leaders of the United Kingdom and the United States – a “special relationship”.

The club are keen on developing long-term ties with their overseas players and making them feel part of the “Yorkshire family” – à la the love affair they enjoyed with Darren Lehmann.

Williamson, who scored 629 Championship runs last summer at 57.18, is seen very much as the right type of character as well as cricketer by Moxon and his fellow coaches at Headingley.

“We have a very high regard for Kane and feel he’s been very much part of our success,” said Moxon.

“He fits in really well with our team, with our team environment, and that’s really important.

“His talent as a batsman, his overall demeanour, his attitude –everything is outstanding about the bloke, really. He’s very mature for his years, he enjoys playing for Yorkshire and he’s keen to play as much as he can.”

Since leaving Yorkshire last summer, Williamson has continued to go from strength to strength.

He also made a huge three-figure score (192) against Pakistan in Sharjah and has been a model of consistency lately in one-day international cricket, registering eight scores of 60-plus in his last 10 innings.

Along with Yorkshire’s Joe Root and Gary Ballance, Williamson is one of the burgeoning talents of the world game – a man whom New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum believes could become that country’s best-ever batsman.

Such a lofty statement is supported by the fact Williamson’s Test average since October 2003 is 74.95 from 25 innings, including six hundreds.

While Williamson prepares for the seven-match ODI series against Sri Lanka starting on Sunday, and Root and Ballance for the tri-series against Australia and India beginning in Australia on January 16, another Yorkshire cricketer is presently in high-profile action Down Under.

Tim Bresnan, the 29-year-old pace bowler, made his debut yesterday for Hobart Hurricanes against Melbourne Renegades in the Twenty20 Big Bash League after signing a short-term deal to replace West Indian all-rounder Darren Sammy.

Bresnan – who is available for Hobart’s final four group games plus any knockout fixtures – returned 0-32 from four overs as Melbourne racked up 163-7 at the Blundstone Arena in Hobart, Ben Stokes top-scoring on debut for the Renegades with 77 from 37 balls with eight fours and five sixes.

Bresnan hit 13 from No 6 as the home side were bowled out for 126, having earlier taken a great catch to dismiss Callum Ferguson off pace bowler Jake Reed,

n Richard Damms, the Yorkshire Academy and Development Coach, has gained his Level Four coaching certificate.

First team coach Jason Gillespie is currently studying for the award and set to complete his course at the end of the year.

n Chris Waters considers Kane Williamson’s rising status in Saturday’s Sports Weekend.