The Yorkshire County Cricket Club have strengthened their batting with the signing of New Zealand international Jeet Raval.

Raval will be available to play in Yorkshire’s final four Specsavers County Championship fixtures, however, has flown in early as cover for compatriot Kane Williamson who has been nursing a bruised finger on his left hand.

The 29-year-old has made 11 Test appearances, scoring a total of 648 runs at an average of 38.11. Raval’s Test debut came against Pakistan in 2016 where the opening batsman scored 55 and 36 runs (not out).

Director of Cricket Martyn Moxon said: “We are delighted that Jeet has agreed to join us, initially as cover for Kane Williamson. Jeet will take over from Kane after the Somerset match and be with the squad until the end of the season.

“Kane has spoken highly of Jeet. We look forward to him joining and hopefully having a successful period with us.”

Speaking about his move to Yorkshire, Raval said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to get this opportunity. I’ve had a quiet winter until now doing some fitness and indoor training here in Auckland, so it is really nice to have this opportunity leading into our series in UAE in October and November.

“It has worked out really well and I would love to get out there and make a contribution to the team.

“I’m a fairly orthodox player. I steady myself to bat for long periods of time. My role as an opening batsman in the team is to deny the opposition for long periods and set up a good total for the team that we can bowl at.”

This will be the batsman’s first stint in county cricket, however, Raval is excited by the “high standard” of cricket that is played in England’s domestic competition.

Raval continued by saying: “I haven’t played county cricket, but I’ve spoken to a lot of guys in New Zealand who have played county cricket in recent years. They have spoken very highly of the standard, especially in division one. Kane Williamson is there, so I will be having a yarn to him and get as much information as I can to ensure that I’m prepared ahead of my first game.

“He (Williamson) has said that it (Yorkshire) is a great club with a great bunch of lads. I’m sure that I will speak with him more when I am there, and have an in-depth conversation about the team and the daily routine which I’m sure will be different to here in New Zealand.

“More importantly, I’m looking forward to this opportunity and hopefully I will be able to contribute in a positive way.”

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