Yorkshire’s men and the Northern Diamonds women will return to pre-season training next week.
The squads were back in at Headingley yesterday for a day of fitness testing.
They will then begin to ramp up preparations on a more regular basis from next week.
New men’s signing Dan Moriarty met up with his new team-mates yesterday after signing a three-year deal to join the county from Surrey towards the back end of last summer.
Fitness will no doubt be the priority for the players in the early stages of pre-season.
Matthew Revis and James Wharton are up and running in Australia grade cricket having made their respective debuts for Gold Coast Dolphins and Wanneroo in Queensland and Western Australia.
Both players are in two-day action, and have been selected to make their debuts in the first grade competition – something not usually certain for English imports.
Revis took the new ball and claimed 3-46 from 15.3 overs in bowling South Brisbane out for 178 before his top order team-mates advanced to 119-2 in reply. The Yorkshire all-rounder is yet to bat for a side captained by Australia left-arm spinner Matt Kuhnemann.
That is likewise for Wharton in WA. Wanneroo are currently playing Mount Lawley, who are 316-5.
Both games play to a conclusion tomorrow.
Lauren Winfield-Hill has been ruled out of Australia’s ongoing women’s Big Bash League competition because of a quad injury.
The Northern Diamonds star was with the Perth Scorchers on a six-match contract, but she only played three and left the competition at the back end of last week.
She sustained the injury during a victory over Hobart Hurricanes, contributing scores of 27, 29 and 14 to two wins and a defeat.
Meanwhile, her regional team-mate Bess Heath remains in the same competition as an overseas player with Brisbane Heat, who are top of the table with four wins from five matches so far. They are next in action away against Hobart tomorrow.
Heath, 22-years-old, has yet to catch fire with the bat, posting scores of 19, 16, 2, 2 and 0 in five innings in the middle order. She has kept wicket in one appearance.
The Northern Diamonds may well have another bowling option next season, with Leah Dobson given significant responsibility with the ball in Australia.
Dobson is spending her winter playing women’s grade cricket for Gold Coast Dolphins.
All of her contributions in senior cricket for the Diamonds have come with the bat and in the field. In fact, she has yet to bowl a ball for the region.
However, the Scarborough native, who can bowl medium pace and off-spin, has been taking the new ball for a Dolphins side who have lost all of their matches this summer.
Last weekend, she returned encouraging figures of 1-26 and 0-24 in a pair of T20 defeats.
Team-mate Sterre Kalis, meanwhile, is playing for New Town in Tasmania.
Her club’s results have been better than Gold Coast’s, winning two of six fixtures. In Kalis’s last two matches, she has posted 60 not out and 29 at the top of the order.
Former Yorkshire T20 captain David Willey has announced his retirement from international cricket, the all-rounder due to play his last game for England at the ongoing World Cup in India.
Willey left Yorkshire at the end of last summer to return to Northamptonshire after seven seasons at Headingley.
The 33-year-old has played 113 times for England across both limited overs formats, claiming 145 wickets.
Willey has taken five wickets in three matches so far in India, and with three to go would no doubt love to top the 150-wicket mark in international cricket.
England are next in action against Australia tomorrow.
“When you put that England shirt on, you are action man and will be missed,” said his former Yorkshire colleague Adil Rashid.
Another former Headingley team-mate Joe Root said: “Our loss will be someone else’s gain. You’ve done unbelievably well on this stage, and I’m sure you’ll entertain for a long while yet.”
The phrase ‘Bazball’ has been included in the Collins online dictionary this week, coinciding with the release of a new book of exactly that title charting recent Test cricket revolution.
In reference to the nickname of England coach Brendon McCullum – Baz – Bazball is defined as “a style of Test cricket in which the batting side attempts to gain the initiative by playing in a highly aggressive manner”.
As for the book, journalists Lawrence Booth and Nick Hoult look at how and why England’s fortunes have changed so drastically since the failed Ashes tour of 2021/22.
They have asked a number of players what Bazball means to them, including Yorkshire batter Harry Brook.
He said: “Good question. What does Bazball mean? The coach doesn’t like the phrase. It’s banned in the dressing room. Nobody uses it.
“For me it means….ha ha….well….oh god, great question!
“If you asked people in the pub, they would say you smack it. But for us it is a bit different.
“As a batting group, when you get the opportunity to score you take it and don’t hold back. You go hard at them. You’re not out there to survive. Bazball is about the team, not yourself. And enjoying each other’s success.”