How Brexit could stump Yorkshire plans for overseas imports

Duanne Olivier: Could join Yorkshire.
Duanne Olivier: Could join Yorkshire.
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YORKSHIRE are looking to recruit a former England international to overcome their lack of runs.

The club are hoping to tie up a new batting coach in the next fortnight after head-hunting a man with top-level experience.

Yorkshire are also looking to sign two players to strengthen their squad for 2019.

They have been linked with South African pace bowler Duanne Olivier on a possible Kolpak deal, while it is thought that they are in the market for an overseas batsman.

Yorkshire are particularly keen to improve a batting department that has struggled for consistency in recent times.

They missed out on summer targets such as Joe Clarke and Ben Duckett but hope that the recruitment of a batting coach will benefit the club at all playing levels – as well as assist the existing coaching team led by Martyn Moxon and Andrew Gale.

Moxon did not wish to be drawn on the identity of Yorkshire’s various targets but said that the club are working hard to recruit a batting coach, who is not thought to have Yorkshire CCC connections.

“We’ve made an offer to someone and are waiting for him to get back to us,” said Moxon.

“He’s got a few other things in the pipeline and, hopefully, in the next couple of weeks, we’ll get a decision one way or the other.

“I’m pushing for an answer and, if it is him, then he would work through the summer in a consultancy/mentoring capacity across the whole academy, second team and first team.

“He’s not had a huge amount of coaching experience but he would be around all summer, although not necessarily all winter.

“We’ve tried to head-hunt initially and, if this person doesn’t materialise, then we’ll advertise.”

As Yorkshire’s squad for next season begins to take shape, with the club having already signed bowlers Mat Pilans and Josh Poysden plus batsman Will Fraine, there is a feeling among the coaches that they still need a couple more new faces to help the club’s home-grown players.

Yorkshire have been reluctant to go down the Kolpak route (whereby counties can sign foreign imports without them being classed as overseas players) having done more than any other club in recent times to develop from within.

But they are cognisant of the need to remain competitive, having lost three pillars of their Championship-winning pace bowling attack in quick succession, following the retirement of Ryan Sidebottom and the departures of Jack Brooks and Liam Plunkett.

However, there is also the potential sticking point of Brexit and what that could mean for Kolpak deals, which could yet scupper any move for Olivier, while the availability of top overseas players will only become clearer early next year when the World Cup squads are announced.

Olivier, 26, played for Derbyshire last summer as an overseas player, taking 31 wickets in seven County Championship games at an average of 27.48.

He played the last of his five Tests in October last year and may feel that his chances of a South Africa recall are not high enough to dissuade a move to England.

As ever, player recruitment remains a fluid situation, with Yorkshire juggling four overseas cricketers last year – one of which, Billy Stanlake, saw his contract cancelled by Cricket Australia.

But Moxon outlined Yorkshire’s general thinking.

“We want to bring in two players overall,” he said. “In an ideal world, we want our own players to step up, but we’ve been inconsistent of late and we’ve continued to try to sign the best overseas players that we possibly can.

“As ever, if we do sign people, we want to make sure they’re of very good quality.”