KANE WILLIAMSON could arrive at Yorkshire feeling on top of the world, according to first-team coach Jason Gillespie.
The former Australia pace bowler believes Williamson and his New Zealand team-mates could surprise a few at the forthcoming World Twenty20and win the competition, although he believes Sri Lanka are more likely winners.
Williamson has enjoyed an exceptional winter in both Test and one-day internationals as the Kiwis won home series against the West Indies and India.
The 23-year-old is far from a regular in their Twenty20 team, but Gillespie rates him highly as a T20 player and believes he could shine in Bangladesh if used properlyAfter that, Gillespie is certain the right-handed top order batsman, who also bowls handy offspinners, will be a hit during his second summer in White Rose colours.
If Gillespie is right and New Zealand and Sri Lanka perform strongly, it will spell bad news for England because all three are in the same group and only two qualify for the semi-finals.
England’s first match is against New Zealand on Saturday.
“Kane used properly could be a big asset to New Zealand,” said Gillespie. “He’s certainly going to be a massive asset to us in all forms of the game.
“He’ll come to Yorkshire straight from the World Twenty20 with a very clear mind. I have actually picked New Zealand as my left-field smokies to win the tournament and Sri Lanka as my favourites. I think New Zealand could do something special.”
In a short spell as Yorkshire’s overseas player at the back end of last summer, Williamson played both Championship and 40-over cricket.
Despite an estimated two-month absence due to a New Zealand tour of the West Indies from late May onwards, he is still expected to play in all forms for Yorkshire.
“We were delighted when the opportunity arose to have Kane for pretty much the whole summer this year,” said Gillespie.
“We know how keen he is to have success in all the cricket he plays, whether it be for us, New Zealand or Northern Districts.
“Kane showed his class last year, and he fitted into our dressing room tremendously well.
“He has been selected in New Zealand’s T20 squad, and we believe he’s a really good T20 player. If there’s an opportunity when both him and Aaron Finch will be around to play, that will be really exciting.
“I like the fact that when overseas players come over, they have a point to prove.”