Ben Mike says it was “a no brainer” to sign for Yorkshire as he closes in on a debut over the next fortnight.
All-rounder Mike signed a three-year contract at Headingley ahead of next season having opted to leave Leicestershire. But he has joined on loan for the remainder of this summer.
Mike, 24, has spent the last week with his new county, bowling and batting in the nets and sub-fielding during the LV= Insurance County Championship defeat. He took a catch at mid-wicket in Essex’s first innings.
“I’m absolutely over the moon to be here,” he said. “It’s an honour to be in Yorkshire colours, and to play with this team will be amazing.
“I would say Yorkshire are the biggest club in the country, one who are always pushing for titles like they did in the T20 this year. It’s just a massive club that I couldn’t turn down.
“When a club like Yorkshire comes knocking, with the coaches they’ve got like Ottis, Kabir and Ali, it was a no brainer for me.”
Head coach Ottis Gibson has confirmed that Mike is in to play before the season’s end, with Championship matches to come against Surrey at the Oval from Tuesday and Gloucestershire at Headingley the following Monday.
He said: “Ben’s had a really good week with us, getting to know the lads and the club a bit. He got on the field (against Essex) and took a catch. He looks a very good athlete.
“There is a strong possibility that he could make his debut in London.
“He’s a very confident young man.
“Whether it is this one or the one after, I’m quite sure he will play a game before the end of the season.”
Mike has played 88 times across all three formats since debuting for Leicestershire in 2018, including 36 first-class appearances with 79 wickets and 1,302 runs.
He is a seamer with extra pace and a hard-hitting lower order batter, as he once proved against his new employers by hitting a match-winning six off the final ball of a Vitality Blast clash at Grace Road in 2020. Adam Lyth was the bowler.
“I’ve not mentioned it to him,” Mike smiled. “But hopefully I can do something like that for Yorkshire.
“Lythy’s a great man. He’s been really welcoming this week, as all the lads have.”
Discussing the reasons for his move to Yorkshire, Mike continued: “Ultimately, I feel like I’ve stagnated a bit in the past few years. I want to be a bit further ahead than what I am.
“I want to put in some consistent performances and string everything together and get to the highest level I can do.
“I see the club, the coaches and the team-mates I have helping me do that. More importantly, I want to help this club win matches and trophies. That’s the expectation everyone at Yorkshire has.
“We’ve definitely got the players in this squad to be challenging to win trophies.
“The guys are always fighting when they play their cricket. They showed that against Essex. They fought until the last ball of the game, and I thought we were going to do it. I was gutted to be honest.”
When Mike does debut, his primary role will be to inject some extra pace into Yorkshire’s attack.
He said: “I do feel like I’ve got a bit of pace. Some others have mentioned a bit of an X factor about me.
“Hopefully I’ve got the ability to change games in all three formats, with all three facets of my game. That’s the plan.
“Bowling quick and contributing to a developing attack is something I’m excited about. I also want to be contributing with the bat. I feel like I’ve underachieved with that.
“I just want to be an all-rounder who contributes in all formats.”
Mike spent time working on his batting with Ali Maiden this last week and on his bowling with Gibson and Kabir Ali.
In terms of the bowling side of things, he added: “Ottis and Kabir have just told me to keep things simple. That clarity is perhaps what I’ve needed over the past few years. It’s just been about, ‘Keep bowling the best balls you can bowl’.”