Paul Dyson gives a statistical preview of the forthcoming season.

In its preview of Yorkshire’s season The Cricketer magazine states that ‘the Club are entering a transitional phase…and…holding their mid-table ground will be viewed positively’. With only four senior players likely to be available on a regular basis there will very much be an onus on the first team squad’s younger members to produce match-winning performances. Is it possible that they can produce enough of these to finish the season in a very high position or is it more likely that the Club’s mid-table performances will continue?

On five occasions Yorkshire have finished three or four consecutive seasons in first place. These were in 1900-02, 1922-25, 1931-33, 1937-46 and 1966-68. However, the White Rose county have never finished in any other position in three successive seasons. Having ended each of 2017 and 2018 in fourth place, can they make it a unique hat-trick? In any case the team’s achievement in finishing in the top four in each of the past six seasons is to be lauded as it is the first such sequence since the 1930s.

In addition, in each of the past two seasons, Yorkshire have won five and lost five of its first-class matches. For the county to win and lose exactly the same number of games in any season is a very rare event and has previously occurred on only six occasions; these were in 1871 (W 3, L 3), 1888 (W 7, L 7), 1892 (W 6, L 6), 1953 (W 7, L 7), 1976 (W7, L7) and 1995 (W8, L8). Can the county produce another first hat-trick by winning the losing the same number of matches? Actually, even for the sake of a statistical eccentricity, this writer hopes that there will be more victories than defeats.

Turning to the 50-over competition, Yorkshire have reached at least the quarter-final stage over each of the past five seasons. This sequence has never been achieved before in List A cricket although, when two such knock-out competitions were on offer there were seven similar successes in the 1995-98 period. Three of the 2014-18 tournaments have seen Yorkshire get through to a semi-final only to fall at the penultimate hurdle. The county’s failings at this juncture have been outlined in a Throwback Thursday piece and last year’s defeat to Hampshire emphasised Yorkshire’s position as the county with the worst record in all List A semi-finals. Let it be hoped that it can, as in 1965, 1969, 1987 and 2002 not only go one better but actually win a coveted Lord’s final.

With regard to the Twenty20 game, Yorkshire have been very inconsistent over recent years. The last five seasons have seen it finish in eighth position in the North Group once, fifth three times and reach finals day in 2016, only to lose (yet another) semi-final. To finish fifth is particularly frustrating as it is only one place below that needed to qualify for a quarter-final. It would be triply frustrating for it to be another unique hat-trick – of fifth position finishes. In any case the sequences of non-qualification have all been hat-tricks: 2003-5, 2009-11 and 2013-15. Let it be hoped that this list is not joined by 2017-19 and that some success in the shortest form of the game will be achieved.

An image of Lauren Winfield-Hill and Adil Rashid, with the Yorkshire logo and Northern Diamonds logo in the middle

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