LAHORE: English cricket county Yorkshire’s overseas signings could not be more designed to persuade their Muslim communities that change is here to stay. To the Pakistan quick, Haris Rauf, who will play the first six Championship matches as well as an envisaged stint in the Vitality Blast, they have added his fellow Pakistani, the legspinner Shadab Khan, as they herald the start of a new era. Yorkshire are not openly saying that they are deliberately majoring on Pakistan-based talent to build trust after the racism allegations levelled by Azeem Rafiq plunged the county into one of the deepest crisis in its history, but it is pretty self-evident. It certainly bears comparison with their first attempt to woo minority ethnic fans, in 1992, when they signed an Indian batsman and he posed for photographs with a pint of Tetley bitter – a slight miscalculation perhaps, in the Muslim areas of the inner cities. But then Sachin Tendulkar was not so famous then. Ottis Gibson, Yorkshire’s coach was delighted at the prospect. “He’s a fantastic T20 player. I was in the PSL and he was player of the tournament, I think, making runs, taking wickets, full of energy. He brings a lot. In T20 cricket, you like all your players to be three-dimensional and he’s definitely a three-dimensional player that will add value with bat, ball and in the field.” Shadab is available for the first five matches, and then from the ninth match onwards, and will be a key figure as Yorkshire seek to arrest a poor record in T20 cricket. The view of their interim director of cricket, Darren Gough, is that often their overseas signings have not been ambitious enough. With Gary Ballance expected to miss the start of the season — perhaps much longer — because of a recurrence of his mental health issues, and Tom Kohler-Cadmore still affected by concussion he suffered on a pre-season tour to Dubai, Yorkshire are also trying to finalise another overseas batter on a short-term contract.