Yorkshire has roped in the services of Aussie bowler Billy Stanlake for the Vitality T20 Blast. The club confirmed the news on Thursday (February 22). The lanky speedster with a height of 6 ft 8 will play a minimum of 12 matches for Yorkshire. He could end up playing more if he is not selected for Australia’s tour of Zimbabwe in August.
Stanlake will be joined by New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson as Yorkshire’s two permitted players for the competition. The county had announced previously that Team India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara has been signed by the county as an overseas player and will part of the County Championship and the Royal London One Day Cup.
The fast bowler was part of the Adelaide Strikers’ squad which won the Big Bash League. He also played a couple of ODI’s and 6 T20I’s for Australia. He is a tall guy and can generate some serious pace. Stanlake made life difficult for Kevin Pietersen very recently. Meanwhile, it must be noted that Stanlake is a wicket-taking bowler, especially in the shortest format.
He bagged eight wickets in 5 matches during the recently concluded Trans-Tasman T20I series. It was the Aussies who eventually won the tri-nation series by defeating the Kiwis by 19 runs on Wednesday. “We’re delighted to have Billy on board,” Yorkshire’s Director of Cricket Martyn Moxon was quoted as saying by Yorkshireccc.com.
“He’s someone I noticed when I went out to see Dizzy (Jason Gillespie) in the Big Bash. He’s a tall, fast-bowler with pace and is a wicket-taking option for us. Obviously, since then he has progressed to being a full international T20 cricketer so we’re really excited about him joining up with us.
“The pace and bounce he gets really stood out for me and he’s a genuine wicket-taker which is just as important as keeping the runs down in one-day cricket. He’s something different for us and particularly with David Willey and Liam Plunkett not available for the first period of T20, assuming they’re playing for England, he’s a nice fit for us.”
Stanlake has had several injuries in the past. He suffered three stress fractures on the back and had only played just a couple of first-class games for his stateside Queensland. His last appearance for them came way back in 2015. Stanlake played his last List A fixture against Pakistan a year ago. However, Yorkshire will hope that his fitness doesn’t remain a concern. He will also hope that his inclusion can help them recover from their poor record in the tournament.
“I’m really excited about heading over to England and representing Yorkshire Vikings in the domestic T20 competition,” said Stanlake. “It’ll be a great experience and hopefully an exciting few weeks. It’s a huge club with great history and tradition and I’ve only heard positive things from the guys who have been there in the past.
“For me it’s about building pressure and taking wickets, and hopefully that will go some way towards contributing to success for the team. I’m really enjoying my cricket at the moment, the body feels in a good place too and hopefully I enjoy a productive spell with the Vikings in July,” Stanlake concluded.