Dawid Malan has revealed how Jonny Bairstow and Adil Rashid gave him a White Rose welcome whilst touring New Zealand with England last month.
“There were a few Yorkshire chants from the boys every time I walked into the changing rooms!” revealed the former Middlesex batsman, who smashed a T20 international century on that tour.
“Adil was pretty happy. I also had a few dinners with Bluey (Bairstow), and he was showing me where to live. I also got a message from Joe Root when he was on the plane, actually, saying, ‘Welcome to Yorkshire pal’.
“It’s nice to know a few people here. I’ve played with Wills (David Willey) and Adil before, Joe and Jonny.”
Malan was speaking during a whistle-stop two-day visit to Yorkshire, in which he was shown around Emerald Headingley and met team-mates, coaches and office staff today and will house hunt tomorrow.
He is then due to fly out to Bangladesh early next week to play in their T20 Premier League competition.
“I’m extremely excited to be here,” he said, having signed a four-year deal with the county.
“Yorkshire is a club with a massive history, and to be a part of it is a massive opportunity and honour for myself. Hopefully helping them towards winning some silverware is going to be a fantastic challenge.”
Malan left Middlesex after nearly a decade and a half, including the last two seasons as captain across all formats.
“I just needed a change,” continued the 32-year-old left-handed batsman.
“I’d been at Middlesex for 14 seasons, and after a while you feel like you need a new challenge. That was the only reason I wanted to move.
“I needed to be around somewhere else where the last four, five or six years of my career I was pushing myself to be a better player. You never stop learning.
“I felt I needed to move not because Middlesex couldn’t offer me that, but if I moved to a new environment where I wasn’t comfortable I would need to keep pushing myself to get better.”
Malan knows all too well that Yorkshire are “a tough team to play against”. He battled them for the title in 2015 and 2016, with his old county coming out on top in that latter campaign.
Malan is confident Yorkshire can quickly get back to challenging for that title again.
“Definitely,” he said. “As a player, you follow county cricket every week and see who does well. And Yorkshire are always there and thereabouts. We have a decent bowling attack and some good batters.
“Rooty, I think, is available for the first few Championship games. I don’t know whether I’m allowed to say that, but I think he is.
“I’ve always looked at Yorkshire and thought they’re a balanced team.
“They play on a wicket that does a little bit early on. There’s something in it for batsmen and bowlers. It’s a result place. If you are playing good cricket, you can force results here at Headingley.
“The Yorkshire boys win a lot of games at Headingley. If we can continue moving that in the right direction, we can win some silverware.”
The England man also praised coach Andrew Gale and director of cricket Martyn Moxon for the part they played in his move north.
“Speaking to them, they were extremely professional in everything they did,” he added. “They were clear on their plans and knew the direction they want to go in.
“From what Galey and Martyn said, they are desperate to win trophies. And that’s a massive part of my career – I want to win stuff. You might not win anything, but at least you are trying and pushing towards it.
“Once I’d spoken to them and seen how keen they were, the professionalism, the way they’ve gone about their cricket for the last few years – they’ve always been a team who competes across all three formats – that really stood out for me.”
It is as yet unclear how big a part Malan will play in Yorkshire’s pre-season programme given his name is also in the forthcoming draft to play in the Pakistan Super League T20 event, which takes place from late February to late March.