After a disappointing season in 2022 both on and off the field Yorkshire will be looking to bounce back, exactly like they did twelve seasons ago when they were last relegated. This time around however it may not be as easy. They are still yet to hear if there will be any further sanctions following the hearing into institutionalised racism at the club, plus the commitments of their England contingent and the IPL and potentially Major league Cricket could see them missing numerous first choice players for large chunks of the season. No one could doubt that if their first choice eleven were available they could, should and probably would run away with Division Two of the County Championship, however the Yorkshire faithful see some of those players less regularly than Halley’s comet.
The one bright spark in the Yorkshire season was making T20 Blast Finals day, where they succumbed to their arch rivals Lancashire in the Semi Finals. They will be hoping to go further this season and win the tournament and give the Yorkshire faithful something to cheer. They have a young squad with bags of potential, some genuinely threatening bowlers and the arrival of Matt Milnes from Kent will add to that. They will be hoping he can stay fit and along with the now experienced Ben Coad can guide the side to glory.
For all the turmoil off the field for Yorkshire, since the accusations have been made they have taken great strides to rectify the situation, none more so than bringing in Darren Gough and Otis Gibson. Two more down to earth, reasonable and genuine human beings you could not hope to meet. They have guided the side through the process and have allowed players to leave to help build the culture that they want at the club. It will be interesting to see how they fare, what they have learnt and how they will move on. Do not be surprised if in true Yorkshire fashion they deny the experts and have a longer than anticipated stay in Division Two.
Ins: Shan Masood (Derbys) Matt Milnes (Kent) Ben Mike (Leics) Yash Vagadia (yth) Mickey Edwards (UKP)
Outs: Mathew Waite (Worcs) David Willey (NHants) Tom Kohler-Cadmore (Som) Tom Loten (Notts) Harry Sullivan (Rel) Josh Sullivan (Rel) Steve Patterson (Ret) Gary Balance (Zim) Shadab Khan (Sus)
Key Player :
Last season only three players played every County Championship for Yorkshire, George Hill, Jordan Thompson and Adam Lyth. In a side often decimated by international call ups, Lyth was consistent, he averaged just over 32. Whilst not headline worthy he was the glue that often held the innings together. His total of 790 First Class runs was only bettered for the county by Harry Brook who at times looked like he was playing a different game to everyone else last season, In another season which promises to be hindered by countries coming calling for players, Lyth will need to be there again, guiding the younger players surrounding him. Yorkshire will be hoping his consistency can be their glue again.
Player to Watch:
George Hill is an impressive young player, still only 22, yet has already played 23 First Class matches for Yorkshire, playing every game in last season’s disappointing First Class campaign, averaging over 30 with the bat and under 22 with the ball. He is a genuine all rounder and one who can help Yorkshire to climb back into he top division of county cricket. He has only played a handful of T20 matches but he has the potential to be a game changer in the shortest format too. Hill is a talented cricketer so don’t be surprised if before long he is the next player to be called upon by England having come up through the Yorkshire Academy.
In Shan Masood Yorkshire have a player coming off the back of a very successful county season in 2022, and will be hoping he can recreate the form he showed for Derbyshire for the White Rose. However with this form comes the issue of international call ups, Masood who had been nowhere near the Pakistan white ball side, has suddenly become a mainstay over the winter, this may mean that Yorkshire see significantly less of their captain than they anticipated.
Likewise, David Wiese looked to be a shrewd signing for the T20 Blast, however his exploits for Namibia over the Winter have seen him pick up an IPL contract and if his success continues, again Yorkshire may see far less of him than anticipated as he earns bigger money elsewhere.
Another shrewd looking overseas signing was that of Neil Wagner, the big hearted left arm quick from New Zealand who was set to be available until the end of July, however injury may again mean that they do not see him for quite some time and Darren Gough and Otis Gibson are left hunting through their little black books of overseas signings for replacements.
Potential Starting XI
(No England or IPL) (With England and IPL)
- Shan Masood (c) 1. Shan Masood
- Adam Lyth 2. Adam Lyth
- David Malan 3. James Wharton
- Joe Root 4. George Hill
- Harry Brook 5. Will Fraine
- Jonny Bairstow (wk) 6. Jonny Tattersall
- Dom Bess 7. Dom Bess
- Jordan Thompson 8. Jordan Thompson
- Matt Milnes 9. Matt Milnes
- Neil Wagner 10. Ben Coad
- Matthew Fisher 11. Matthew Fisher
How they’ll fare
Lots of people are tipping Yorkshire for a straight return to the top division in the Championship and also to make a big tilt at the T20 Blast this season. How true this is depends hugely on England and IPL commitments for their players, the two sides above show the varying strengths of their potential teams. One would challenge in any league in the world and would give most international sides a good game, the other is not one that when looked at screams instant return to Division One or a trophy. Other sides have the same issues, although Yorkshire’s depth or lack of may see them contending, but not necessarily challenging in all three competitions.
LVCC Div 2 –Yorkshire CCC vs Leicestershire CCC 6th April Headingley Cricket Ground, Leeds
Season Odds (www.skybet.com)
LV County Championship 7/4
Royal London One-Day Cup: N/A
Vitality Twenty20 Blast: 8/1