Ottis Gibson is targeting an improvement in Yorkshire’s limited overs performances this summer, and the coach hopes new Blast overseas signing Donovan Ferreira will be right at the centre of an upturn in fortunes.

Powerful South African all-rounder Ferreira, 25, has signed on at Headingley for the duration of the Blast, supplementing fellow overseas Shan Masood, the county’s Pakistani batting captain.

Ferreira can do it all. He bats, bowls off-spin and keeps wicket too. Gibson has confirmed that the Pretorian will take the gloves in this season’s Blast: “Yes, absolutely,” he said.  

Gibson was speaking as he prepared to fly out to Abu Dhabi today on Yorkshire’s 10-day pre-season tour, with Ferreira also in the air this week. He is heading to India to link up with the Rajasthan Royals for the Indian Premier League.

The coach said: “I think Donovan will add great value to our lower middle order, batting at five perhaps.

“He strikes at about 160 or something in that middle order, and he’s someone who will hopefully be a real contributor in the middle and can also finish games at the back end.”

Picture by Lee Warren/Getty Images. Donovan Ferreira in action for South Africa.

Yorkshire will play both T20 and red ball cricket whilst in the UAE. Their first assignment will be a six-team T20 tournament over three days from Friday to Sunday.

Entitled the Abu Dhabi Counties Super Cup, Essex, Nottinghamshire, Somerset and Warwickshire are also involved alongside a Team Abu Dhabi select XI.

While Yorkshire encouraged in red ball cricket last year, their white ball cricket was disappointing as they missed out on knockout qualification in both the Vitality Blast and the Metro Bank One-Day Cup. 

They were especially hit and miss in the Blast, book-ending a six-game winning run through the middle of the North Group with some damaging defeats.

“As we build a squad – this winter in the indoor school, we have put a focus on white ball cricket,” said Gibson. 

“You look at the talent we’ve got, I believe that we should be doing far better as a white ball team. 

Ottis Gibson

Picture by Allan McKenzie/ Ottis Gibson has flown to Abu Dhabi with Yorkshire’s squad today.

“That’s one of our real goals this year – to perform better as a white ball team.

“Whether performing better takes us back to Edgbaston for Finals Day like we did a couple of years ago, who knows. But we all agree that we should be performing better this year.

“Last year, we got on a hot streak and won six in a row through the middle. We then lost a few but still had a chance of qualifying going into the last two games. But they were rained out. 

“Hopefully we can have a settled squad this year and play some good cricket. 

“Everyone wants to get to the quarter-finals and then to Finals Day.”

While Gibson says the plan is to give two-time T20 international Ferreira the gloves in the Blast, Jonny Tattersall and Harry Duke will compete for that role in the other two competitions, starting with the County Championship.

Jonny Tattersall and Harry Duke

Picture by Allan McKenzie/ Yorkshire wicketkeepers Jonny Tattersall (c) and Harry Duke (l) in One-Day Cup action.

Tattersall kept in last season’s Championship, while Duke did so in the One-Day Cup.  

Gibson added: “It’s a good headache to have. Both guys have had really good winters.

“When we get outside this week and next, and when we get home, the intention is to create opportunities for both of those guys to stake a claim for the gloves. 

“We will have to see how that plays out moving forwards.”

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