Jordan Thompson says Yorkshire are aiming to make the forthcoming three-day Abu Dhabi Counties Super Cup T20 competition a win-win experience.

The county take to the field tomorrow morning (6am UK) for the first time in 2024 when they face Vitality Blast champions Somerset.

Warwickshire are their next opponents on Saturday (10am UK) before Sunday’s Finals Day will see the Vikings play at either 6am or 10am for finishing places or in the 2pm final dependent on their success in the fixtures tomorrow and Saturday.

Essex and Nottinghamshire are the other two counties involved in a six-team competition alongside a Team Abu Dhabi XI.

“We want to win it, but we also want to come back with a clear idea of what people can do in certain areas and what skills they have got,” said all-rounder Thompson.

“It’s important that moving into the Blast that we get an idea of our best team but also for lads to work out how they want to play.

Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com. Jordan Thompson celebrates last season’s Vitality Blast Roses win at Headingley.

“Some of the teams in the North Group are very strong, and we want to make sure we’re one of them.

“A big realisation for me this winter has been to work on some new things and come back with things that people haven’t seen before. That might be a new variation with the ball or what number I bat. 

“It might be that I get the chance to bat a bit higher up and get a chance to build an innings. 

“I’ve been touted as a striker at the end, but I know for a fact that I can come with a bit of time, build an innings and then score quickly.

“These games could be a chance for me or someone else to bat in a different position or for someone else to bowl in the powerplay.”

Yorkshire also have a two-day game against Warwickshire next Thursday and Friday, and Thompson continued: “It’s important we make the most of the opportunity to play against county opposition in really good conditions.

Somerset

Picture by Alex Davidson/Getty Images. Somerset’s Tom Banton, who could face Yorkshire tomorrow, celebrates with the Vitality Blast trophy last summer.

“Going to Cape Town last year was a bit disappointing. We didn’t have the weather, and we played Warwickshire on a bit of an average playing surface at a club ground.

“In Abu Dhabi, you know for a fact you get top-class facilities. They’re immaculate.”

Yorkshire head into the T20 event at the Sheikh Zayed International Stadium complex on the back of three days of training since arriving on Monday evening.

Thompson has spent a good portion of the last two-and-a-half months in the United Arab Emirates having played in the ILT20 through January and February for the MI Emirates team, who went on and won the event. 

Coach Ottis Gibson is the same having been part of the Gulf Giants backroom staff. 

Thompson, 27, has reflected on a productive winter, which started with rest and recuperation and then some hard work at Headingley before playing twice in the ILT20.

Jordan Thompson

Picture: Jordan Thompson/Instagram. Jordan Thompson celebrates with the ILT20 trophy.

“It was a good block before Christmas. I had six weeks where I worked really hard on my fitness,” he said. 

“I got offered the chance to go back to the T10 in Abu Dhabi before Christmas but turned it down. I wanted to get myself ready for a really busy period – the ILT20, this tour and then the season.

“So I worked on my fitness and my white ball game as well so that I was in the best possible shape to contribute (for MI Emirates), which I felt I did.

“I only played two games, but I felt like I did well in those. 

“It’s a really hard team to break into with the likes of Pollard, Bravo, Pooran, Trent Boult. It’s a star-studded squad, but it’s great to be a part of it. 

“To be able to pick their brains is great, and there was plenty of opportunity to practice.

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com. Dan Moriarty could play his first white ball match for Yorkshire tomorrow.

“Even when I wasn’t playing, I wasn’t just sat there doing nothing. It was training most days and getting ready for when I was needed.”

It says a lot about Thompson’s development as a cricketer that he now feels in such a place that he is able to turn down the odd franchise opportunity instead of having to take every single one going in a bid to make a name for himself.

Over the last few years, his performances around the world with the ball have been particular eye-catching, including for Yorkshire.

“I have to look after my fitness and wellbeing given how much I’ve been playing over the last three, four or five years,” he said. “It’s been a heck of a lot of cricket. 

“I have to make sure I take some time to get myself physically and mentally right to go to these competitions and obviously our summer as well. 

“I turned down the T10, and it’s important that you pick those moments.

Ottis Gibson

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com. Coach Ottis Gibson spoke earlier this week about the need for white ball improvement in 2024.

“I don’t want to just be a journeyman who is going from one tournament to the other with nothing in between.

“I want to improve as a cricketer and not fall behind.  

“I spoke to Gibbo towards the end of last season about having that six-week block.

“As I say, I wanted a clear mind going into a really busy period.

“We have a big challenge of seven Championship matches in the first eight weeks of the season, but it’s something I feel like I can really contribute towards.”

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