LONDON, CMC – Prolific West Indies opener Kraigg Brathwaite has been signed by English County Yorkshire for the last two games of the County Championship.
The 24-year-old opener, who has played 39 Tests, replaces Australian batsman Shaun Marsh, who is returning home to represent Western Australia in the Matador Cup.
“When we found out that Shaun wasn’t going to be available for the last two games, we looked at options to replace him,” said Yorkshire’s Director of Cricket, Martyn Moxon.
“At such a late stage and with Kraigg getting the runs he did at Headingley, it all came at the right time. We enquired about his availability and it was pleasing he was keen to play and the West Indies cricket board are keen for him to get more experience playing in England, so it fits well for both parties.
“Importantly for us he’s currently playing in English conditions at Headingley, which is obviously one of our games, and was important for us with regards to anybody we brought in.”
Brathwaite was outstanding in the second Test of the ongoing three-Test series at Headingley last week, scoring 134 and 95 as West Indies rebounded to beat England by five wickets on the final day.
The Barbadian has been one of the mainstays of the Caribbean side’s batting in recent years and currently averages 37 and 41 in first class cricket.
He said one of his dreams was to play County cricket and was glad to be doing so at a prestigious club such as Yorkshire.
“Before the second Test I was speaking to my agent and he was telling me that he was talking to Yorkshire’s coaching staff,” Brathwaite said.
“After the game he came back to me telling me he was getting some quality feedback. They really wanted me and I was very happy because Yorkshire is a very big club in England and I’m very happy and proud to have been selected by them.”
He added: “Playing county cricket was always one of my goals and coming over here to play against England for the West Indies was going to get me one step closer, if I did well.”
Moxon said there was a possibility Brathwaite could see an extended contract for next season but it depended on his returns in the two games.
“If he gets a lot of runs for us he’s going to stake a big claim, so it’s certainly a possibility going forward,” Moxon pointed out.
“We’ll just take one step at a time and see how these two games go. If he goes well and enjoys his time here, it could be something we do going forward.”
Brathwaite, currently preparing for the final Test at Lord’s starting today, will link up with Yorkshire ahead of their last home fixture against Warwickshire on September 19.