By Mickey Edwards

Everyone is at the peak of their fitness and skills, and we can’t wait for that first game against Leicestershire to come around this weekend.

I’ve said before that pre-season does tend to drag, especially in the latter stages, and you just want the games to start once you get to this time of year.

There’s a very good feeling around the place. We have a young squad who are still developing, but we have some unbelievably talented players at this club.

And the confidence we have coming into the season is a product of all the hard work we’ve done over the winter and in Abu Dhabi recently.

Unanimously, that 10 days in Abu Dhabi was one of the better trips we’ve all ever been on.

The cricket facilities were excellent, the hotel was excellent, and all social stuff we did too. I think everyone got exactly what they wanted to out of the trip.

Mickey Edwards

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com. Mickey Edwards in Yorkshire’s new Championship shirt.

On the field, there were a lot of good things which came out of it, mainly being outside and being able to practice our skills. 

James Wharton had two fifties in the three T20 games, and we got some good scores in that counties competition.

For me personally, it was a bit hit and miss. 

Twenty20s can bite you in the bum if you’re slightly off with your execution, which I was at a couple of stages. The last over against Somerset in the last game was the obvious example when they need 18 to win and then two off the last ball. Because we were behind our overs, we only had four fielders out. 

There are a lot of things we could point to, but it came down to a miss-execution of a skill. Had I nailed a wide yorker like I was supposed to, you’d like to think it would have gone our way. That’s Twenty20.

But if you’re going to have tough days, have them in pre-season. 

Mickey Edwards

Picture by Ian Roman/Abu Dhabi Cricket and Sports hub. Mickey Edwards trains in Abu Dhabi last month. 

And it gives you a good opportunity to learn from it, which I feel like I have with the different fields I’d set and the balls I’d bowl in a pressure situation.

Thankfully, I had a good day against Durham in the two-day game at the weekend, taking a couple of wickets. I felt I bowled nicely, and hopefully that gets my season up and running. 

I had Matt Milnes as a room-mate in Abu Dhabi, and he was an excellent one.

We live quite close by – he’s in Chapel Allerton as well – and we are good mates anyway. 

We roomed together last year in South Africa as the two newbies in the squad, so they just kept it the same this year. 

We made an 18 hole putting course around our room which spilled its way out onto the corridor courtesy of a couple of par fives! It was really good fun. In terms of the result, I think we’d have to call it a tie. It was probably best described as Terrible-all!

Matt Milnes

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com. Matt Milnes poses for the camera ahead of the 2024 summer. 

It will be pretty special to have Harry Brook and Joe Root in our team for five Championship games each during the first half of the season. 

These are the players – the marquee ones – you want to come and see, aren’t they?

Rooty has been playing some incredible cricket for a long time, reverse scooping quicks and all that. Brooky as well, he’s an excitement machine, as he showed against Durham. 

I’d imagine they will add a good few onto the gate at the various grounds, especially Headingley.

You may remember my tale about playing against Brooky in Sydney grade cricket a few winters ago when I was playing for Manly and he was out there with the University of New South Wales.

Well, there were a few words exchanged during that game, but it was all good fun and water under the bridge now. 

Harry Brook

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com. England star Harry Brook and Mickey Edwards played against each other in Australian grade cricket a few winters ago. 

Because we’re such a young squad on average, it will be good to have those guys in our line-up. 

That experience is something we lack a bit of. We have guys like Lythy and Coady, but outside of that we don’t really have many older and experienced figure-heads. Those two can come in from international cricket and add a bit of that.

We’re definitely looking to play an exciting and aggressive brand of cricket this year, and it’s fair to say that Division Two lends itself to that given you have to win matches to get promotion. It worked well for Durham last season, with them winning the league, and it’s also gone quite well for England over the last few years.

It’s been a year now since I first arrived at this club, and I can definitely say that the enjoyment I’m getting is only going up each and every day.

You can sometimes get into a new environment, have that initial excitement and then it stagnates. But it absolutely hasn’t here.

The longer I’m here, the more things we do together as a squad – going to Abu Dhabi, going dancing on a Thursday afternoon or whatever it is – it increases the love I have for this club and group of players.

Mickey Edwards

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com. Mickey Edwards in action during last summer’s County Championship. 

Lifting a trophy this season will certainly add to that.

If and when county commitments allow this summer, I will be playing some league cricket for Honley in the Huddersfield League. That’s Will Fraine’s old club, and he put me in touch with them. He speaks highly of them, and I’ll look forward to that.

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