Harry Brook says he has loved being back with Yorkshire during the early stages of the summer.

England’s star batter is coming towards the end of a five-game stint in the Vitality County Championship. He is currently playing in his fourth of that spell against Derbyshire at Headingley, scoring an unbeaten 126 during yesterday’s second day of a rain-affected affair.

Today’s third day was abandoned without a ball bowled because of heavy overnight and morning rain.

Brook’s personal situation has been well documented. 

He recently lost his grandmother, Pauline, and opted out of England’s Test tour of India from late January through to early March as a result. He also opted against going to the Indian Premier League in order to spend time with his family.

The 25-year-old has been speaking about the last few months, the forthcoming T20 World Cup and his hopes for Yorkshire throughout 2024.

“When I came home from Abu Dhabi, it was a very tough time, and I’m glad I did come home,” he said. 

Harry Brook

Picture by John Heald. Harry Brook looks to the skies to salute his late grandmother, Pauline, after his early-season century against Leicestershire.

“Obviously it was a big decision to make. I hadn’t played 100s of games for England, so to just turn down a big Test tour like that was a big decision to make. 

“But she comes before all of that. She would have come out there a couple of years ago, so I had to come back and support her as much as I could. Like I say, it was a very tough period, but I’m glad I came back and I was with my family and was with her. 

“I managed to take her out for a coffee and what not in that first week I was back.

“I was still training with a mindset of trying to get back out for the last couple of Tests all being well. Obviously it all disintegrated fairly quickly, so that didn’t really happen.

“I just tried to support her as best as I could and everyone around us. 

“Both of those hundreds and all of the runs I’ve scored so far this year are all dedicated to her.”

Brook trained with Yorkshire indoors during the latter stages of the winter and has played in all four Championship matches so far. He scored a century in the season-opening draw with Leicestershire here and backed it up yesterday.

Yorkshire and Diamonds

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com. Harry Brook (middle row, far left) as part of Yorkshire’s pre-season team photo with the Northern Diamonds squad.

“It’s been awesome to play with my mates again, some of my closest mates,” he said. 

“I went to school with a few of them and grew up at Yorkshire with loads of them. It’s been good to be back here because I love playing for Yorkshire. I wish I could play more, but obviously it’s a good thing that I haven’t done. Hopefully that continues.

“But, yeah, it is awesome to play for Yorkshire.”

In terms of his early-season form, he continued: “Pretty good. 

“But there are a few bits and bobs I feel I can get better at. It’s nice to get runs and spend a bit of time in the middle. But I’m always striving to get better – as you know. It’s never perfect.”

Brook shared a double century partnership with England team-mate Joe Root on days one and two against Derbyshire, Root also posting a hundred of his own. 

“It’s class batting with him,” said Brook. “There are little parts when we’re batting together, I just ask him what he’d do in certain situations. When a bowler’s doing something different, I’d ask him what he’d do and what his thoughts were on that.

Brook and Root

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com. Harry Brook and Joe Root bat together against Derbyshire this weekend.

“Look, he’s one of the best players to ever play the game and England’s greatest ever batter. To have the opportunity to play every game I am doing with him at the minute is a learning curve for me.”

Brook will face Glamorgan at Headingley on Friday before turning his attention to preparations for June’s T20 World Cup in the Caribbean and the USA.

“I’m looking forward to it, if selected,” he continued. 

“We join up at the end of next month, so yeah I’m looking forward to being back with the lads and hopefully producing the goods for England again. 

“I think we’ve got one of the strongest, if not the strongest, amount of players we could pick from. There are so many players who are phenomenal at white ball cricket. 

“There are people who are nowhere near the team or the squads who could get in. We’re in a good place.

“Obviously, we haven’t spent much time together recently, but we get together and play Pakistan at the end of May. We’ll have a bit of time together before the end of May – if selected.”

Harry Brook

Picture by Ashley Allen/Getty Images. Harry Brook will be back in an England shirt next month.

And his confidence in England’s ability to defend the T20 title they won at the end of 2022 is replicated when it comes to Yorkshire’s Championship promotion hopes.

“I think we’ve definitely got a good enough side,” he said. 

“I have no doubt that we will (get promoted). We just have to figure out ways to get wickets when the pitches go flat and the ball’s not the way you want it to be.”

And of the batters waiting in the wings to replace him, he added: “There’s some phenomenal players in the squad.

“If you look down, there’s Will Luxton as well, who’s scored quite a few runs at the start of the year for the second team. He’s definitely putting his name in the hat. 

“James Wharton is a very good player, as we’ve seen. He dominated on pre-season, from what I saw. He batted well in the warm-up game and got a hundred last week in the second team.

“The lads are raring to go.”

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