In this edition of ‘Yorkshire Informer’ we look ahead to the LV= County Championship match when Yorkshire travel to Queen’s Park, Chesterfield to face Derbyshire.
We speak to Captain Andrew Gale, who returns to action after recovering from a hand injury.
How is the injured hand?
“It feels fine. I have had a couple of nets this week and though you are apprehensive how the injury will react, it went well. Initially, there was some pain but after seven or eight balls I was feeling good.
“I am delighted to be back. It has been a frustrating few weeks missing out on a couple of T20 matches, but the main thing is that I will be ready for the Derbyshire Championship match and aiming to win it.”
You’ll be delighted to have Phil Jaques, Steve Patterson and Azeem Rafiq back after recovering from their respective injuries?
“It’s great news that we are injury free and we have a fully-fit squad. Jaquesy (Phil Jaques) has returned to action and is in a good place with his fitness.
“Steve Patterson has been playing for the seconds over the past fortnight has been in good nick. He has captained them and has worked hard on his bowling. We have missed him in our T20 matches, but to have him back for the Championship matches is crucial.
“He has been outstanding this season and is one of the best bowlers in the competition. It is fantastic news that we can draw on his experience at Chesterfield.
“I’m personally delighted to have Azeem back in the squad. He has worked hard to get fit and has been brilliant for us in our Twenty campaign. He is an exceptional talent and to have him in the squad will give us options.
“The squad is in a good place and we have a lot of variety and options that we can utilise to our advantage.”
What can we expect from Derbyshire?
‘It is going to be a difficult match. They are desperate to kick start their season and will see this as an ideal opportunity to get some momentum with a win.
“We can’t afford to be complacent. Otherwise, we will get found out. I want us to go to Chesterfield and be ruthless. We are in the mix at the top of the league and with a massive amount of cricket still left this season we have to stay amongst the top teams in the country.”
How do you keep the players level headed when all the talk is about Yorkshire winning the Championship?
“The players are a great bunch and remain focussed on the job in hand. We’ve played nine games and there is still a hell of a lot of cricket to be played with seven matches left.
“We go out to win every match, but we know it won’t be easy. The aim is to win the Championship. I think we are good enough to do that but we won’t take anything for granted.
“The second half of the season will be relentless and we will have to get used to playing most of our matches away from home, which is never easy.
“We will fight for every point and hope to be amongst the top teams from now until the end of September.”
Yorkshire will be at full-strength for their match against Derbyshire. The Club welcomes back captain Andrew Gale, who has fully recovered from a broken bone in his left hand sustained against Lancashire earlier this month. Gale has missed Yorkshire’s last three Friends Life T20 matches.
Yorkshire can also call upon Moin Ashraf (back), Phil Jaques (abdominal strain), Steve Patterson (toe) and Azeem Rafiq (knee). All four have fully recovered with Jaques and Rafiq playing key roles in Yorkshire’s Friends Life T20 campaign. Patterson and Ashraf have returned to action in the second team without any side effects from their recent injuries.
Yorkshire 13-man squad to face Derbyshire, beginning Wednesday July 17: