Yorkshire have captured two immensely exciting cricketers at different stages of their career development in Shan Masood and Ben Mike.
That is the view of assistant coach Ali Maiden, who has been speaking about today’s announcement that Pakistan batter Masood and Leicestershire all-rounder Mike will arrive at Headingley in time for the 2023 summer.
In signing left-handed Masood on an overseas deal, Yorkshire have recruited a player who has lit up county cricket this summer, scoring almost 1,800 runs across all competitions.
He is 32-year-old with extensive international experience already and has designs on playing more regularly for his country than he is at present.
In terms of Mike, Yorkshire have beaten a number of other counties to his signature. He is a 23-year-old seam bowling all-rounder capable of bowling at close to 90mph.
Members of Yorkshire’s current coaching staff have worked with both players recently; Ottis Gibson with Masood at the Multan Sultans in the Pakistan Super League and Tom Smith and Maiden with Mike at Leicestershire.
On Masood, Maiden said: “He’s a fantastic signing, an international player.
“I read in the article the other day on Derbyshire’s website that he’s on for 2,000 runs in the season, which is some achievement. To get someone with the calibre to do that, in all three competitions, I think is a fantastic thing for the club.
“The hope is that we have signed someone who we are going to see a lot of.
“Obviously, if things happen, we’ll have to take as it comes. But he’s played a lot for Derbyshire this year, and hopefully we’ll see a lot of him next.
“And he’ll add to our batting unit, which is already quite a strong one.”
Maiden continued: “I haven’t seen a huge amount of him (Masood), but I’ve seen more of him this year.
“We’ve been on the wrong end of him a couple of times, and he looks a fine player.
“Ottis spent a bit of time with him at the Pakistan Super League, and he speaks highly of his work ethic and his attitude to the game, his approach. That says a lot.
“We are signing his runs, but we are also signing a strong character who’s a role model for the other players.”
Mike will make the same journey to Headingley this winter as Maiden did last, the latter from his role as the head of Leicestershire’s Academy.
“Ben’s an exciting cricketer who I think had quite a bit of interest from a few different counties,” said Maiden.
“He affects games with both bat and ball. He’s raw, I would say. But he’s got pace. He brings something we’ve possibly missed a bit this season through our injuries.
“He’s a good ball striker as well – he has ability with the bat, He’s a proper all-rounder.
“Benny’s a young lad and a fantastic athlete. Like Shan, he’s got a great work ethic.
“He’s got a lot of developing to do, which I think is why coming to Yorkshire is such a big thing for him and us. It’s an opportunity for him to further his education as a cricketer.”
Maiden added: “He’s taken people’s attention through white ball cricket this year, but he’s played a lot of red ball for Leicester.
“What he will bring in that format is pace. Tom Smith knows him well and speaks highly of him. He will talk about him being clocked at nearly 90mph.”