England batsman Jonny Bairstow has signed a fresh three-year contract extension at Yorkshire after being given assurances about the future direction of the club.
Bairstow’s international commitments in all formats limited him to only three County Championship appearances last season but he is an automatic first-choice with the bat and wicketkeeping gloves when available.
He went public with his disappointment at the likes of Alex Lees and Liam Plunkett being allowed to leave the White Rose last year but has now put pen to paper on a deal that will run until the end of 2021.
“I’m very pleased to have signed my extension,” Bairstow said. “It has taken a little while to get it sorted with a few bits going on, but I’m really pleased to have signed the extension.
“I always enjoy coming back, but it’s going to be really different this year, losing a few of the guys and potentially playing against some of the people you’ve had some fantastic memories playing with at Yorkshire.
“But it’s an opportunity to create some new ones with the new faces we’ve got in at the club.”
Bairstow is a product of Yorkshire’s academy and he helped them to the championship title in 2014 while he was the talisman as they retained the crown 12 months later, amassing 1,108 runs runs at an incredible average of 92.33.
He has been a regular in England’s Test line-up since the summer of 2015 and has also established himself in the limited-overs sides in the last couple of years.
The 29-year-old is expected to be a figurehead for England in the World Cup and Ashes on home soil this summer.
And his availability for Yorkshire will be further restricted after he was snapped up by Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League.
“At the moment I only play a few games a year and I’m sure there are plenty of people saying that I should be playing more,” Bairstow said.
“But with the international schedule the way it is – look at this summer and the Ashes, a World Cup and we go again straight after that.
“It’s a hectic schedule. It’s not just physically exhausting it’s mentally demanding as well with all the pressures that come with it.”
Bairstow, son of the late former Yorkshire and England wicketkeeper David, follows in the footsteps of England Test captain Joe Root, who last month also committed to the club for a further three years.
Yorkshire director of cricket Martyn Moxon said: “It’s another high profile, high-class, world-class international cricketer pledging three further years to the club and it is fantastic news.
“He showed an interest in the direction the club were looking to take in the coming years.
“There have been a few personnel changes in recent years but he just wanted to be sure that our plans for the future matched his and his desire to be involved in a winning team.
“I believe, and the club believe, that we’ve got a bit of a process that we’re going through and we’re in a bit of a transitional period, but we’ve got some exciting and talented young players that we need to give opportunities to in order to ensure that Yorkshire are competitive for the future.”