When and if the cricket season starts, there will be a different look off the field at Headingley going forward. A new Chairman and Vice Chairman will be in place, with Roger Hutton appointed to the role of Chairman and Neil Hartley to be the new Vice Chairman. They will oversee the continued redevelopment of Headingley and also the development of the team.
That team has been strengthened by the arrival of Dawid Malan from Middlesex over the winter. Malan scored over 1000 runs in the championship for Middlesex last season, at an average of just a shade under 48. Malan’s white ball prowess is well known, and he is a regular selection in both England white ball squads. Yorkshire will be hoping Malan can demonstrate that form for the white rose.
Malan is not the only white ball addition the club have made, with World Cup winner Adil Rashid re-signing for white ball competitions, which will give him time to nurse and rehabilitate his troublesome shoulder.
When Rashid does play T20 for the White Rose, he will be joined by one of the brightest up and coming batsmen in the T20 world as the Leeds based side having secured Trinidadian Nicholas Pooran for the entirety of the T20 Blast. Pooran averages nearly 50 with the bat in ODIs, at a strike rate over 100 and in T20i cricket his strike rate is over 143. With he and Malan in the side, the Vikings will not be lacking firepower if the Blast gets the green light this summer.
There has also been a change of on field leadership for the White Rose, with Steve Patterson retiring from T20 cricket and thus relinquishing the capataincy in that format. He has retained the reigns in First Class Cricket and 50 over cricket, but it will be David Willey who will be leading the Viking charge this season. Willey is an experienced T20 campaigner and his international days could well be behind him following his omission from the World Cup squad, so he should be present for all the games.
Last season Keshav Maharaj made a real impact for Yorkshire and if the season goes ahead he was scheduled to return for a short period. Yorkshire’s main overseas signing, however, was Indian spin bowler Ravi Ashwin. Ashwin is a stellar signing and his impact would be huge for Yorkshire. A proven match winner, he has taken wickets wherever he has played.
Whether Ashwin gets to play for Yorkshire, we still wait to see. Two players who have guaranteed they will be wearing the white rose again are Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Adam Lyth, who both penned contract extensions during the winter committing their futures to the Headingley side.
One other piece of positive news off the field for Yorkshire was the announcement that Janet Bairstow, mum of Yorkshire and England star Jonny, was elected as vice president of the club – the first time a woman has held that role at Yorkshire CCC.
With the changes off the field and strengthening on it, it has been a positive winter for Yorkshire. Now they wait with baited breath to see if they get to start that era in 2020 or 2021.