Yorkshire are the D40 National Quest League champions after pipping Roses rivals Lancashire to the post amidst a wet and nervous Sunday afternoon.
Captain Gordon Laidlaw’s side started the day level on 106 points with Lancashire after five games and 10 points behind leaders Middlesex, who had completed their six fixtures.
Yorkshire were away against Surrey at Ashford and Lancashire at home to Sussex.
Yorkshire claimed 12 points from their rained off clash with Surrey. Having posted 123-2, they claimed two all-important bonus points to add to 10 for the draw.
Then it was a nervy wait to see what the Red Rose would do. In fact, it was that nervy, that the title was only confirmed when Laidlaw, team manager Owen Jervis and England bowler Alex Jervis were in the car on the way home.
“The weather was always going to play a key factor in the outcome today,” said Laidlaw.
“If we won, that would have won the league for us.
“But our game got cancelled, and all the way up in the car we were trying to get messages from the Lancashire game to see what was happening. We finally got a message to say they’d been bowled out for 80 and had lost. That made us champions.
“It’s a fantastic achievement.”
What makes this achievement so fantastic for Laidlaw and co is that this is their first season in county disability cricket’s top division after promotion last September.
Added to that, one of their three wins this summer came with only nine men away at Sussex.
“We probably set off two years ago thinking it would take five years to get to where we are now,” continued former England batter Laidlaw.
“We got promoted last year and added some experience to the young lads. It’s absolutely brilliant for everybody involved.
“We lost to Lancs at Higham in our first game. Having just been promoted, we knew we were going to be tested.
“But testament to everyone involved – the players, Owen, our coach Callum Robertson and James O’Connor, who captained the side last season and at the start of this.
“We came back from that, and have done all we could.
“We went down to Sussex with nine men and won there.”
Laidlaw went on: “The key moment was probably the realisation that we could do it. Whether that was at Sussex or even against Lancashire. Even though we got beat in that game, we knew we should have won it.
“The big thing this year has been the fact we’ve put runs on the board. We’ve 200 in almost every game and have maxed out on our batting points. We’ve then bowled really tight to back that up.”
As champions, Yorkshire are now awarded the honour of facing the Lord’s Taverners in a Showcase match at Tring on August 13, when they will receive their trophy.
“It’s an added bonus,” said Laidlaw. “To have that national profile that Yorkshire are going to be playing in that game is absolutely brilliant.”
Edinburgh-born Doncaster native Laidlaw helped England win the 2015 World Cup in Bangladesh.
“For me, this probably isn’t quite as high as that. But it’s right up there. I couldn’t be prouder. Yorkshire was where I started my disability journey. To realise that we’re national champions is massive.”
And he added: “I just want to say a massive thanks to everyone for their efforts. It’s been a great effort. That goes to players, parents, families, Owen as manager and Callum as coach.
“It takes the effort and commitment of everyone – as travelling down to Sussex with nine men shows.”