Tykes rely on 'Finch factor'

  • Last Updated: April 18 2014, 7:24 BST

Skipper Andrew Gale believes the 'Finch factor' can give Yorkshire the edge in this season's NatWest T20 Blast.

Aaron Finch: Set to pull in the crowds at Headingley
Aaron Finch: Set to pull in the crowds at Headingley

The Tykes have pulled off a major coup in signing hard-hitting Australian top order batsman Aaron Finch for this this summer's domestic competition.

The 27-year-old holds the record for the highest innings in a Twenty20 International match when he blasted 156 against England at Hampshire's Ageas Bowl last year.

It included 14 sixes which is also a record, 11 fours and came off just 63 balls faced. Gale hopes this explosive kind of play can help his side to finals day at Edgbaston in August.

"It's a wide-open competition and very hard to predict a winner but we think the 'Finch factor' gives us a very good chance," Gale told sportinglife.com.

"We got to finals day in 2012 but didn't back it up last year and I don't know why so it was very disappointing.

"But we have a real match-winner in Aaron. The English public saw him last year and I think they will want to come and watch him. He's a player that hits the ball into Row Z and we're very excited to have him here."

The newly named NatWest T20 Blast was launched at Edgbaston on Thursday with most games this season taking place on a Friday night following extensive research of over 25,000 cricketing fans.

Gale has welcomed the move and believes it will have a positive impact on attendances up and down the country.

"It's difficult for most people to watch County Championship cricket because the majority of it is played during the week," said Gale.

"But moving these shorter games to a Friday night means supporters will be able to finish work or school and still get here for the start.

"It's a fantastic competition and we're all looking forward to playing in front of big crowds at Headingley.

"I've been lucky enough to play on a finals day and it's a great experience. Tickets are being bought now even though fans have no idea who will be playing in it - it's appeal is huge."

Yorkshire finished runners-up to Durham in the County Championship last season and Gale sees no reason why they can't go one better in 2014.

"We were newly-promoted in 2013 and many people were tipping us to be relegated at the start," said Gale.

"In the end we were disappointed to be second after leading the table for so long, but credit to Durham as they played some outstanding cricket to get past us and win it.

"We have a big squad that we hope can do well, but we know we're also probably going to have to cope with England call ups at some point.

"But we'll have to deal with that and it will be a chance for other players to step up and make the most of their chance."

Andrew Gale was speaking ahead of the start of the NatWest T20 Blast season. Blast off is Friday, May 16 - tickets can be purchased from www.ecb.co.uk/natwestt20blast

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