Exclusive – By Graham Hardcastle

Billy Stanlake spoke to White Rose legends Jason Gillespie and Darren Lehmann about joining Yorkshire for this summer’s Vitality Blast. But the Aussie quick has admitted: “I didn’t need convincing to sign.”

Stanlake, 23-years-old, will arrive at Emerald Headingley in July as one of the Vikings two overseas players alongside New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, who he has just played against in the international T20 tri-series and will play alongside in April’s Indian Premier League with Sunrisers Hyderabad.

The big fast bowler from the Gold Coast has enjoyed a memorable Australian summer, grabbing plenty of headlines for helping Adelaide Strikers win the Big Bash and then his country win the aforementioned tri-series.

“This year, I’ve been able to play some continuous cricket rather than just a game here and there,” said Stanlake, who has had his fair share of injury problems in the past. “The body’s been in really good nick, so that’s been a big part of playing some good cricket and getting my name up there.

“It’s a very exciting opportunity for me to be able to play for Yorkshire. I’ve never been over to the UK, let alone play over there.

“I’m rapt to go over there and play some cricket in English conditions. It’s going to be great fun.

“I was in Melbourne about a month ago playing in the Big Bash, and I was with my manager.

“We got chatting with a correspondent from the UK about how good it would be to go and play over there. That’s how it came about.

“We said ‘Let’s try and get onto it quickly and see how it goes’. All of a sudden, we heard Yorkshire were keen. It all happened very quickly.”

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