Yorkshire Vikings start their Barbados T20 campaign against Hampshire Royals aiming to repeat their exploits from last year, where they walked away with the trophy after defeating Warwickshire Bears in the final at the Kensington Oval.
First up for the Vikings this year is a match against Hampshire on Saturday (12.30pm local time) at the 3Ws Oval, which will have added significance after the Royals defeated Yorkshire in last year’s domestic Friends Life T20 showpiece final at Cardiff by 10 runs.
“We can’t wait to get started,” said Vikings captain Andrew Gale, who along with his teammates were putting their finishing touches to their preparations on Friday in Bridgetown.
“The aim for this is to build on our successful campaign in T20 cricket from last season, which started here in Barbados. The lads that were here this time 12 months ago know the significance of strong planning and applying our plans in a positive manner. It may sound simple, but it worked for us and we want to repeat it again in 2013.
“Getting it right here will give us the belief we can be successful again. We feel very confident within ourselves and we can’t wait to play some competitive cricket this weekend.
“We have some new blood in the squad, which adds to the competition for place. It is important that we don’t forget the lads back home, the likes of Gary Ballance, Joe Root and Tim Bresnan, who have all succeeded with England in this form of the game during the past 12 months.”
The Vikings have named a strong squad for the game against Hampshire on Saturday. New signing Liam Plunkett gets an opportunity to show his class in Yorkshire colours for the first time. Alongside Plunkett, Andrew Hodd is given the chance to stake a claim for the permanent keeping role. He gets the nod ahead of Dan Hodgson, who impressed with the bat in Yorkshire’s practice two-day game, which finished on Thursday.
The bowling attack will be led by Ryan Sidebottom, who has enjoyed success in the past with England in the Caribbean, where he won the T20 World Cup a few years back. Moin Ashraf will also get the chance to build on his successful 2012 and will want to continue his efforts in bowling match winning deliveries at the death, which was his biggest strength in 2012.
Academy youngster Will Rhodes has been drafted into the squad after Azeem Rafiq was forced ro withdraw with a bruised finger. Full story here.
We will bring you live updates from the game via our official twitter feed @yorkshireccc and to follow the match as it happens use #YorksT20 The match will commence at 12.30pm (local) 4.30pm (UK time) on Saturday afternoon.