Dan Moriarty believes he is joining a Yorkshire squad which is set up for long-term success.
Left-arm spinner Moriarty signed a three-year contract at Headingley back in August, hot on the heels of an encouraging month-long loan spell with the county.
The 24-year-old joins from reigning county champions Surrey, a team who have won the LV= Insurance County Championship title three times in the last six years.
That is the type of success which Moriarty is targeting upon his move North, a decision which he says was very easy to make.
“Yorkshire have got a good balance of youth and experience, which is a good base for success,” said the Reigate-born former South Africa Under 19.
“There are a lot of really exciting young players here.
“We don’t just want to be a team who is successful for one year, we want to sustain it for a long time – five to 10 years down the line. We want it to be a generational thing.”
First things first, though, Yorkshire must get out of Division Two before pushing on to challenge the likes of Surrey.
“Getting back to Division One is a big aim for the club, and we’re very confident of achieving that,” continued Moriarty.
“I firmly believe we have the players and skillset to do it. Now it’s just about trusting the process through this winter and into the summer.”
Moriarty played four mid-season Championship games for Yorkshire through June and July.
He took a debut 5-139 in the first innings of the Headingley draw against Gloucestershire before the rest of his spell was disrupted by rain. Games against Worcestershire away and Sussex and Durham were all badly affected.
That is shown by the fact that he bowled 34.2 overs in the first innings of that Gloucestershire game and only another 48.5 overs in the next three matches, yielding two more wickets.
“It was quite frustrating through that period, but the nice thing was that I was still involved and playing,” he reflected. “Even though I didn’t get to bowl as much as I’d like to, game time wasn’t something that I’d really had too much of at Surrey.
“I said after the first game, the guys made me feel really welcome.
“I felt like I had a bit of a point to prove, so getting those wickets was really nice. I was very motivated and really enjoyed it.”
Expanding on the point to prove comment, he continued: “It was a combination of things.
“When you go on loan, you want to impress where you’re playing and show other people how good you can be. Also, at that time, I was still a Surrey player so I wanted say to them, ‘I’m still here, and I want to be able to put in performances’.
“But more so for myself, I wanted to do myself justice.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to play against most of these guys over the last few years, and they’ve always been extremely friendly. So I found it very easy to settle in.
“The coaching staff are the same.
“I really enjoyed my time here, and it just felt right.
“When the opportunity presented itself to sign permanently, the decision was made fairly quickly even though it was a big one.
“I felt it was the right thing for me in terms of where my career’s at and what I want to go on and achieve. It definitely feels like a step in the right direction.”
Moriarty dreams of playing Test Cricket for England: “I’ve dreamt of that ever since being a young kid,” he said.
“But, initially, it’s about establishing myself in the first team, playing consistently across all of the formats.”
Moriarty’s career stats make for impressive reading. He has taken 49 wickets in 13 first-class appearances, including six hauls of five wickets or more. He has also taken 23 wickets in 17 List A appearances and 32 wickets in 37 T20s. In both limited overs formats, his economy rates are an impressive 4.98 and 7.36 respectively.
He was the second leading wicket-taker in the 2020 Vitality Blast with 17 wickets as Surrey reached the final.
“Being a young spinner, I don’t want to pigeon-hole myself to one format or the other,” he said, before recalling a couple of significant 50-over games back in August.
Moriarty played against Yorkshire for Surrey in the Metro Bank One-Day Cup at York, a thrilling game which the Vikings won by one wicket chasing 242.
Moriarty, who returned 1-47 from 10 overs, had by that stage made the decision to move to Yorkshire permanently.
“That game at York, there was nothing to lose for me. I just wanted to enjoy it,” he said. “There were a few jokes flying around about me coming to Yorkshire.
“It was a bit of a weird feeling knowing I was leaving. But it was a fantastic game of cricket to be a part of, and I really enjoyed it.”
Two days earlier, he had taken 3-55 in a win over Nottinghamshire at Welbeck Colliery. All three of his wickets came in the last over as he successfully defended a target of six needed as Notts chased a revised target of 241.
“That was another brilliant game,” he said. “We didn’t deserve to win it for a while, but we dragged it out and took a few crucial wickets towards the end of the game.
“I was the only bowler with an over left, but I said to Rory Burns, ‘We can defend this’. We had a plan, and it worked out. That gave me a lot of confidence.”
Moriarty has joined Yorkshire to complement off-spinner Dom Bess and leg-spinners Jafer Chohan and, when available, Adil Rashid, though the other three are all either abroad or preparing to go abroad. Bess, for example, is playing domestic cricket in Zimbabwe for the Southern Rocks team.
“There’s certainly a lot of diversity in our attack, and that will give us a lot of options across all formats,” said Moriarty, who himself is heading abroad shortly.
“I’m here at Headingley until Christmas before going back to Cape Town to see some family. I will do some training on grass out there until the end of January.”
By the time he returns to England, Moriarty is hoping to be close to moving house into the Leeds area, while there is also March’s pre-season tour to Abu Dhabi to look forward to.
“The season will be here in no time,” he added, cheerily.