David Wiese is hoping to be at Yorkshire for both a good time and a long time after signing on as the club’s second overseas player for this year’s Vitality Blast.
The explosive Namibia international all-rounder will get the chance to add to his storied career by helping the Vikings chase a maiden Blast trophy in 2023.
Wiese will turn 38 just two days before Yorkshire’s opening Blast game against Birmingham Bears at Edgbaston on May 20, and the 300 plus gamer’s role will not just be limited to scoring runs and taking wickets and catches.
Alongside new captain Shan Masood, he will help guide some of the county’s talented up and comers.
“I’m towards the latter stages of my career now and have played a couple of games. I enjoy chatting to the younger players,” said Wiese, from his home in South Africa.
“When I was coming through and developing, I enjoyed picking the brains of senior players.
“It’s now my time to impart my knowledge to the younger players, and I really look forward to that.
“It’s something I can maybe see myself doing in the future, a coaching or mentorship type of thing. Helping younger players is definitely part of the overseas package.”
A coaching role is for the future, though, as Wiese still has plenty to offer inside the boundary rope, as the last 12 months have indicated.
Early in 2022, he won the Pakistan Super League with Lahore Qalandars, alongside Harry Brook, and finished the year with a trophy-winning campaign in the Abu Dhabi T10 League with Deccan Gladiators.
He also impressed for the St Lucia Kings in the Caribbean Premier League, with the Northern Superchargers in the Hundred and for Namibia at the T20 World Cup.
It was during the Hundred that the foundations were laid for his Yorkshire signing.
“I enjoyed myself at Headingley last season during the Hundred,” he said.
“It was actually the one place in the UK that I hadn’t played any cricket and I loved it. It was amazing for me. I also enjoyed myself in Leeds, which is a really cool place.
“To be able to come back, I’m really excited.
“I’ve worked with Ottis Gibson (who was an assistant coach with the Superchargers) before in various leagues and competitions, but during the Hundred we really got on well.
“Luckily for me, the Hundred went well on a personal level (151 runs, seven wickets in seven games). At the end of the comp, he came to me and said, ‘Listen, we’re looking to lock you in for Yorkshire for next year’.
“They knew I wasn’t playing any international cricket which would clash, meaning I’d be available for the whole comp.
“He asked would I be keen, and I jumped at the opportunity.”
Availability and longevity are key aspects to success for Wiese in short-form cricket.
“Yes, it’s really important to be there for the whole season – or most of it, at least,” he continued.
“For the team’s continuity, it’s difficult when someone is dipping in and out. The whole balance of the team shifts.
“For me personally, I want to stay there for the whole time and try to go on the full journey with the team. I want to make it to Finals Day and play a part on that day.
“Nowadays, I feel that unless you’re a really big dog player who can come in and play four or five games and impact most of those, then clubs are looking at players who have availability for all of the competition.”
Moving on from that, Wiese, who has signed on for one season at Headingley, would also be keen to extend that deal into 2024 – but, of course, that depends on a successful campaign.
“I always feel like if you come in as an overseas player and you get asked back for more than one season, you’ve done your job,” he said. “That means you’ve contributed on and off the field.
“I always try and pride myself on coming back the next season because you’ve almost validated yourself as an overseas player.
“I spent six seasons with Sussex, I’m going into my fifth with the Lahore Qalandars, the CPL also. I’ve also done the same team in the T10 for two or three seasons.
“Hopefully that can be the situation with Yorkshire.
“I love playing in England. Playing for Sussex for six seasons, it made me a much better player. Conditions are vastly different to anywhere else in the world, so you need to adapt your game.
“I don’t think I would be the player I am now if it wasn’t for playing in county cricket.
“England is a special place for me, and hopefully I can keep going back there until I call it quits one day”.
So, that’s the long time aspect of Wiese’s ambitions boxed off. What about the good time?
He said: “Every team starts off a campaign with the idea of making Finals Day, and I see no reason why we shouldn’t be pushing to do that like they did this season.
“We have a number of good young players and overseas like myself and Shan Masood, who have a lot of experience. Then you have a lot of good players like Adam Lyth and Jordan Thompson, who had good campaigns in the Hundred.
“I know there was that initial disappointment about getting relegated from Division One in the Championship, but I know everyone is now very positive about the rebuild of the club.
“Yorkshire’s the most successful club in the history of county cricket, and that’s where the club wants to get back to.”
Wiese was able to get to grips with aspects of life at Yorkshire during his spell at the T10 League in Abu Dhabi last month, where he was in the same team as Tom Kohler-Cadmore and also spent valuable time with the likes of Gibson and Jordan Thompson.
“I spoke to Ottis a little bit, but not that much because he was coaching an opposition team,” he said.
“But Tommo was staying in the same hotel as us, and I got together with him. We chatted by the pool or at breakfast, or whatever. It was good to get a feel about the team and environment from him.
“I also chatted to Tom a bit, although I know he’s left now.”
Wiese’s time with Sussex from 2016-2021 has given him plenty of knowledge of the Vitality Blast, a competition he rates highly.
“I think the Blast is a pretty strong comp,” he said.
“There are so many quality teams, and it’s difficult to make it into the top four in your group for the quarter-finals. There are never any teams which you can look at and say, ‘They’re going to be a walkover’.
“When you get to the stage of knowing that any team can win it, that’s when you know you have a strong competition. That’s definitely the case with the Blast.”
“But the exciting thing for me is that I’ve never played in the North Group. That will be something new.”
That means he will get a first taste of Roses cricket in 2023.
“I’ve heard a lot about the Roses derby, which is a legendary event in the UK. I’m really excited for that,” he added.
“Down at Sussex, we had the El Classicoast with Hampshire, which I loved. But I’m not sure it comes quite as close to Yorkshire v Lancashire.
“Hopefully we can put in a couple of good performances in those games.”
If Wiese contributes to a win or two against the Lightning, he will become an instant hero. There is every chance for a man with 3,666 runs and 251 T20 wickets under his belt.
Before that, however, he will play for the Gulf Giants in the new UAE International T20 League, which runs from January 13 to February 12.
New Yorkshire team-mates Dawid Malan (Sharjah Warriors), Joe Root (Dubai Capitals) and Jordan Thompson (MI Emirates) are also set to play in the event.