THE Yorkshire Vikings have confirmed the signing of wicketkeeper batsman Nicholas Pooran for next summer’s Vitality Blast.

The Trinidadian, who played three Blast fixtures for Yorkshire in 2019, will be available for the majority of the Vikings’ North Group matches in 2020, subject to international commitments.

On returning to Headingley in 2020, Pooran said: “I’m very happy to be returning to Headingley for next season’s T20 Blast.

“I really enjoyed my short stint there after the World Cup and feel I have a bit of unfinished business with the weather winning in a couple of the games I was scheduled to play in in 2019.

“I look forward to catching up with my team-mates in 2020.”

Pooran, who has amassed 2278 runs in 119 T20 matches, including 12 fifties, arrives with a reputation as being one of the world’s best batsmen in the shortest form of the game.

The rising star’s most memorable performance for Yorkshire came when he hit 67 off 28 balls in a win over Leicestershire Foxes at Grace Road. Pooran helped the Vikings to a score of 255-2 - the second highest total in English T20 history.

On the international stage, Pooran has scored 413 runs in 13 ODIs for the West Indies, averaging 43.90.

Andrew Gale, Yorkshire's First XI Coach said: “We all got a glimpse of what a special player he is (last season); he is box office. In T20 cricket, you always look down the team sheet to see who can win you a game, and Pooran is a guy that can win you a game on his own.

“We brought Nicholas in for what we could afford last year. With more funds available, we wanted to bring somebody in for a longer period of time. To get him for a major chunk of the competition is a big plus for us. He fitted into the dressing room really well.

“Nicholas brings you two places in the team as he keeps wicket as well. When he is on with the bat, he is as explosive as anyone in world cricket.”

Pooran’s announcement as a T20 overseas signing comes in the same week as Dawid Malan put pen-to-paper at Headingley. Gale has emphasised the impact he believes the two players will make to the Vikings squad.

“In both players you are getting proven players in the T20 format, and proven match winners,” Gale said.

“It gives us lots more experience in our line-up.

“I felt that last year, we missed out on close games when the pressure was on. At the back end of games, we couldn’t get over the line, and bringing in experienced players helps you with that.

“It brings a calmness and coolness under pressure. Getting these two guys should give us that calmness.”