Kane Williamson believes his summer in county cricket with Gloucestershire will toughen him up and help boost his international career with New Zealand.
The 20-year-old batsman made his debut in the county’s Clydesdale Bank 40 match against the Unicorns at Bristol just 24 hours after meeting his new team-mates for the first time.
He scored 41 and shared a key partnership of 103 for the fourth wicket with centurion Chris Taylor, which helped Gloucestershire to a 24-run win, their fourth victory in five Championship and CB40 games this season.
Williamson said: “I am really excited at the opportunity to play county cricket. The amount of games played over here alone will be something different for me and should toughen me physically and mentally. I am looking to learn as well as help Gloucestershire achieve some success.
“John Bracewell was New Zealand coach not so long ago and all the guys spoke very highly about him so the chance to work with him is something I really welcome.”
Williamson showed his ability as a one-day player for New Zealand as the Kiwis reached the World Cup semi-finals and already has a Test century to his name.
“Taking part in the World Cup was a great experience for me,” he said. “It was nice to play in the second half of the tournament and make some contributions with the bat.
“I try to adapt my game to whatever format of cricket I am playing and feel I am learning all the time about the shorter forms. But I hold the longer forms in great esteem and I’m looking forward to the responsibility of batting at three for Gloucestershire in the Championship.
“I’ve been used in that position by my state side back home and on occasions by New Zealand so it’s a role I am looking to develop.”
Williamson has been keeping an eye on the club’s results from the other side of the world and is pleased to be joining a team in confident mood.
“Gloucestershire have had a fantastic start to the season, which has been great for me to see,” he said. “Clearly it is a young side so I hope we can play some exciting cricket.”